Restaurant review: Jano Bistro, Wellington

Jano Bistro, Wellington: Runner-up Best New Restaurant in the Cuisine Good Food Awards
Maarten Holl

Jano Bistro, Wellington: Runner-up Best New Restaurant in the Cuisine Good Food Awards

Runner-up: Electrolux Best New Restaurant
Cuisine rating: 15/20 (one chef's hat

The cute 1880s yellow cottage, complete with tiny front garden, suggests a charming French bistro, but that description belies the intriguing dishes emerging from the kitchen within. Chef-owner Pierre-Alain Fenoux (above) takes "bistronomy" as his inspiration, defining that as delivering a fine dining experience in a relaxed environment, with "affordable yet exquisite cuisine". You might try a symphony of eggplant with smooth, smoky puree, glassy "chips" and a fat, coriander-dusted grilled wedge. Or perhaps the "tongue to tail chicken": a confit egg in a bowl of chicken broth, a juicy strip of breast meat and two thigh ballotines. Service is friendly and knowledgeable; the wine list carefully chosen to complement the food. The dining room has a simple, spare fit-out, but you won't be looking around – this is a place to focus on your plate. 

Address: 270 Willis St, Te Aro (Map)
Phone: 04-382 9892
Website: janobistro.co.nz
Operating hours: Brunch Sat-Sun, dinner Tues-Sun
Price: mains $28-$32

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