Whatever reservations you may have about the French, their cuisine is what makes it all worthwhile. Bistro Gentil brings the delights of French gastronomy to the beautiful shores of Lake Wanaka.

“We revisit typical flavour combinations using fresh seasonal ingredients from our kitchen garden and the best of our region. Lumina lamb, Aoraki salmon, Canter Valley duck…”

— Mario Rodrigues, Head Chef

The quaint bistro surrounded by lavender sits just outside of town, offering tranquil lake views and beautiful sunsets. An ideal way to spend your evening.

“Indulge in the classics from our À La Carte menu such as French Onion Soup, Beef Tartare or Crème Brûlée.

Why not spend the day sampling local award-winning wine here at the Maude Tasting Room and book in for dinner.


Bienvenue au Bistro Gentil


  • Chicken liver parfait cigar, quince paste, ash /7
  • Sourdough and Bistro’s compound butter /9
  • Manuka smoked olives /8
  • Rock oyster, shallot mignonette /7
  • Soft shell crab tempura, hot sauce mayonnaise /11
  • Lamb croquette, onion caramel, miso mayonnaise /11



  • French onion soup, gruyere crouton 13/21



  • Aged beef fillet tartare, radish, egg yolk, soy gel, miso mayo, crispy shallots, croutons /23
  • Burrata, fina seca wagyu, pumpkin seed pesto, edamame, asparagus, viniagrette /25
  • Roasted leek vinaigrette, goats cheese mousse, parsley sponge, egg mimosa, croutons /22
  • Earth board, selection of 3 cheeses, house chutney, walnut, croutons, sourdough /35


  • Market fish, lemon cream, cabbage savoy, fried sage /42
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, red onion relish, onion caramel, potato dauphines, Café de Paris butter or blue cheese butter /55
  • Royalburn lamb tenderloin, cauliflower, blueberry chutney, broccolini, walnut, prego sauce /46
  • Braised broccoli, tahini, cauliflower, pomegranate dressing, wasabi peas /38
  • 200g Red Tussocks venison, pea purée, mint, sundried tomatoes, chorizo oil, red wine jus /46


  • Signature French fries with truffle salt /14
  • Carrots and parsnip braised in beef fat, spiced grains and parsley /14
  • Green garden salad, medlar vinaigrette /12
  • Kumara fries, aioli, chives /14


  • Vanilla crème brûlée, almond crumb, boysenberry sorbet /20
  • Chocolate cremeux, plum meringue, sesame and hazelnut praline, pickled blueberries / 20
  • Poached pear, almond crumb, ginger gel, pear balsamic, popcorn, vanilla ice cream /17
  • Colonel, lime sorbet, vodka Tried & True /17
  • Selection of house made ice cream and sorbets /17
  • Canelé de Bordeaux, French pastry with rum /10
  • Mini bistro desert /8
  • Affogato, vanilla ice cream, espresso, liqueur of choice /23

Feel like a sweet wine?

  • Pegasus Bay Finale Noble Sauv Blanc/18
  • Campbells Rutherglen Muscat/16
    Bon appétit !
  • star rating  Every thing is not perfect but AWESOME!!!!! Thanks chefs for delicious meals and quality of products & thanks waitress for the perfect service !
    Keep this way we'll be... read more

    avatar thumb rulittapinpin
    August 1, 2019
  • star rating  Fantastic location. Panoramic views of Lake Wanaka & Southern Alps. Excellent choice of beverages (including local wine) at reasonable prices. Great menu selection. Food and Service were excellent. Highly recommended

    avatar thumb Coralea56
    December 2, 2020
  • star rating  I live in Wanaka and try and get around the restaurants. Been here before and it never fails. Really good value. Highly skilled chefs knowledgable and charming wait staff. Great... read more

    avatar thumb Chefmetcalfe
    September 5, 2018
  • star rating  Totally blown away by the experience. Great food, wine and service. As locals, we tended to stick to ‘tried & tester’ but was game to try something for our Silver... read more

    avatar thumb C2MeiD613
    March 5, 2020
  • star rating  Bistro Gentil created the BEST of problems- we wanted to eat more than we knew we could! After some haggling for favorites we had three entrees and two mains with... read more

    avatar thumb curiousgrins
    September 30, 2018
  • star rating  We had an enjoyable birthday dinner at the cozy and romantic Bistro Gentil. The Chef and his team put much love into their dishes. They are beautifully plated. The menu... read more

    avatar thumb GZPCManager
    October 12, 2018
  • star rating  We had dinner here for 4 to celebrate our sons engagement to his lovely fiance and their last night In New Zealand before flying home to the UK. The meal... read more

    avatar thumb Fredthefiddle
    February 15, 2020
  • star rating  You would be a fool to miss this restaurant. It is an absolute hidden gem. The food is to die for, perfectly cooked and plated beautifully. The ambience here is... read more

    July 9, 2019
  • star rating  We ate here during our three night stay in Wanaka and it was absolutely delicious. Both dishes were perfectly cooked and delightfully flavoured. Service was relaxed and friendly, a good... read more

    avatar thumb Lgyajh1987
    April 15, 2019
  • star rating  One of our best meals during our 3-week holiday in New Zealand! Beautiful setting just outside Wanaka, friendly service, warm casual atmosphere and outstanding food! Creative, very well prepared and... read more

    avatar thumb LarchFoodie
    January 12, 2019


To make a reservation, simply complete the form below, a credit card registration will be required to confirm your booking. No charge will be made to the card at this stage. In the case of ‘no show’ a $50 fee will be charged to the card. Please refer to our booking policy below. 

For private hire, large groups and special requests email bistrogentilwanaka@gmail.com.

For parties larger than 9 people, we offer a 3 course set menu so we can deliver the best service. Please email us for more details.

If you are unable to make a reservation online call us on 03 443 2299 as we may still have availability.

Please note that the cancellation must be requested 24 hours prior to the reservation time otherwise cancellation charges may apply. When booking we request credit card details via the secure Stripe payment platform in order to confirm the booking.

Bistro Gentil reserves the right to charge a cancellation fee of $50 per head when one of the following conditions has been met:
1. Booking is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.
2. Guests do not show up for the reservation (bookings will be considered no-show after 30 minutes)
3. Party size is less than the original booking by 2 or more guests without notice.
The cancellation fee will be deducted from the registered card on file and the person responsible for the booking will be notified by email.

A request from us:

If you are unable to honour your reservation or would like to make any changes, please let us know as soon as possible. It is important that we reallocate seats to our waiting list during busy times.

We are a small restaurant, so the amount of staff on in an evening is based on our bookings. We will love you for it!



Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday 6pm till close

To Make a Reservation
Click here

For Inquiries
Ph: 03 443 2299
Email: bistrogentilwanaka@gmail.com