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, and of course some decent Gallic wines too.

“We revisit typical flavour combinations using fresh seasonal ingredients from our kitchen garden and the best of our region. Cardrona Merino 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. If you simply can’t choose let our chefs spoil you with our 5 Course Tasting Menu with matching wines or for those feeling adventurous you can Trust the Chef”

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


Get the Bistro Classics for $74
French Onion Soup, Beef Fillet & Crème Brulée


  • Soup du jour / 15
  • French onion soup, gruyère crouton / 17
  • 55 day aged fillet tartare, radish, free-range egg yolk, smoked miso mayo, crispy shallots, crouton / 19
  • Ora King Salmon 3 ways, avocado, soy gel, grapefruit gel, pickled cucumber, fennel / 22
  • Soft goats cheese, smoked halloumi, butternut, tamarillo, rice cracker, pomegranate dressing / 19
  • Wild shot venison carpaccio, poached pear, cranberry gel, sundried tomatoes, puffed wild rice / 20
  • Angus beef belly croquette, torched gin washed cows cheese, pickled radish, crispy parsley, quince jelly / 20


  • Market fish, scallops, spinach, perla potatoes, saffron & leek velouté, broccolini, chorizo / 40
  • Royalburn lamb rump, ribs, mint salsa verde, preserved lemon, parsnip & harissa purée, hazelnut / 43
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, red onion relish, onion caramel, café de paris, potato dauphines / 46
  • Wagyu hanger steak, prawns, mushrooms, truffle, asparagus, pine nuts, confit garlic butter / 42
  • Confit duck leg, potato gratin, bok choy, silverbeet, kale, orange, vintage cheddar cheese, jus / 39
  • Grilled courgette & aubergine, green beans, rocket, cashew nuts, cherry tomatoes, lemon vinaigrette, comté cheese, peppadews / 38


  • French fries with truffle salt
  • Garden salad, apple vinaigrette
  • Sautéed baby peas, bacon, shallots, butter
  • Spring carrots, cranberry, buckwheat, goats feta

– please add $9 for sides –


  • 2 courses / 55 p.p  -or-  3 courses / 65 p.p


  • Vanilla crème brulée, almond crumb, boysenberry ice cream  / 17
  • Unbaked fig cheesecake, strawberry & rhubarb textures, candied walnuts, cocoa crumbs, ice cream / 17
  • Chocolate brownie, miso caramel, pineapple, coconut & brandy chantilly, hazelnuts, dehydrated milk foam, chocolate sorbet / 17
  • Salted caramel set mousse, poached apples, earl grey gel, sesame praline, crumbs, ice cream / 17
  • Selection of house made ice cream and sorbets / 15

One 80g portion of cheese, served with accompaniments / 21

Selection of three 40g portions of cheeses, served with accompaniments / 32

Vanilla ice cream, espresso coffee, liqueur / 19


with wine matching

Soup of the Day
Maude Methode Traditionelle Brut NV, Marlborough

Soft goats cheese, smoked halloumi, butternut, tamarillo, rice cracker, pomegranate dressing
Jules Taylor Sauv Blanc ’21, Marlborough

Market fish, scallops, spinach, perla potatoes, saffron & leek velouté, broccolini, chorizo
Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay ’20, Kumeu

Royalburn lamb rump, ribs mint salsa verde, preserved lemon, parsnip & harissa purée, hazelnut
Maude Pinot Noir ‘19, Wanaka

Salted caramel set mousse, poached apples, earl grey gel, sesame praline, crumbs, ice cream
Framingham Noble Riesling ’19, Marlborough

5 Course menu / 100
Wine matching / 150

When the season allows, we enhance our dishes using fresh produce from the kitchen garden.

  • star rating  This restaurant has it all. Amazing location with views onto the lake, charming building and interior, a French inspired cuisine to die for and very kind and subtle staff. Just... read more

    avatar thumb Mausl2014
    March 20, 2019
  • star rating  This establishment is in itself a reason to visit Wanaka. The food was excellent. I enjoyed the best steak I have eaten in recent memory. My partner commented that... read more

    avatar thumb 605regk
    May 3, 2019
  • star rating  10 of us dined for my son's birthday. Absolutely loved the meal I had and everyone else enjoyed theirs as well. Superb food,excellent service. Definitely recommend. We will be back.

    avatar thumb RachOhakune
    October 30, 2020
  • star rating  Joined friends for dinner and enjoyed a superb meal with a great selection of local wines.
    One of the best dining experiences we have had in Wanaka. Starting with the... read more

    avatar thumb dajeck
    January 3, 2020
  • star rating  This restaurant was recommended by our hotel. We sat outside on a covered patio with heaters. Fabulous views overlooking Lake Wanaka. The kitchen is open as you walk in,... read more

    avatar thumb lovelongboatkey
    February 17, 2019
  • star rating  We had excellent food our entire wonderful Backroads trip but Bistro Gentil was my favorite.
    Beautiful setting, comfortable seating, elegant casual decor. Servers were excellent, even serving our group of... read more

    avatar thumb RandiFayeC
    March 24, 2020
  • star rating  We were grateful to get in on a Saturday night after another group cancelled - but after overnight rain their carpark was flooded so we had to park in a... read more

    avatar thumb NATSYS
    July 22, 2021
  • star rating  Had a delicious meal. Super impressed with the service, food and ambience. We both had fish of the day which was delicious. Very generous servings and the service was top... read more

    avatar thumb desertdwel
    July 27, 2021
  • star rating  We had high expectations and it delivered. First off the wine experience is top notch. The ability to taste all types wines before you get a bottle is... read more

    avatar thumb Pete P
    March 24, 2019
  • star rating  Loved the ambiance. We went in winter and the restaurant is cozy and has lovely character. Service cannot be faulted. However, the food was a bit of a let-down on... read more

    avatar thumb H M
    July 16, 2021


To make a reservation, simply complete the form below.

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

For parties larger than 8 people, we offer a 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 have still availability.

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!