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“Must Love Cats and Quirky Art Deco”

White House Cafe and Bar
Ranked #26 of 85 Restaurants in Wanaka
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Contemporary
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Level Contributor
51 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Must Love Cats and Quirky Art Deco”
Reviewed 26 August 2013

The owners both feline and human provide excellent fare and service in a setting that is unique in or experience.

Jack White (the black cat maitre de) went out of his way to make us feel welcome and not miss our three spoilt Burmese back home.

The food was excellent, cooked to perfection with amazing flavours. One of the best meals we have enjoyed. So often you don't get what you pay for here you do!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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221 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not what you would expect from the name”
Reviewed 19 August 2013

The White House came highly recommended by locals and since it was the first place we found while driving around we ate here on the first day in Wanaka. My husband and I are on honeymoon and being a youngish couple we find that some restaurants give preferential treatment to those they consider, based on appearance, they can get more money out of. The White House did not have this problem.

Most of the reviews are pretty accurate, this is non pretentious, white table cloth eatery. The food was amazing and a good hearty portion size which we appreciated. The price is high but the value is good. We got a lovely bottle of pinot, starters, mains and desert for under 200. We have enjoyed most of our dining experiences in Queenstown & Wanaka but our meal at the White House has been the most memorable.

We didn't find it dirty at all and in contrast to other reviews found the owner quite enjoyable. My husband is pretty grumpy too though so maybe they just found common ground haha.
The foreign waitress was also very nice and the chef is a genius with his flavour combinations. We had lamb and steak, both were extremely tender although the one complaint I would have would be the lamb tasted vacuum packed rather than fresh- which given the number of sheep in the area seems a bit wrong.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jared D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
77 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Lovely food and quirky atmosphere”
Reviewed 17 August 2013

The food here is really good and fortunately it is not pretentious in this day where there are so many micro greens and deconstructed meal concepts which I am a bit over, sometimes you just want some good food that hits the mark. We had the Tua Tua clam fetticine and this was really yummy and good sized portions. There were lots of vegetarian options and lovely cheeses and desserts if you can fit them in. There are plenty of different wines by the glass and bottle. The atmosphere is quite relaxed and a bit quirky, but it works. The host was fun and the staff seemed to enjoy working there. Looking forward to going back.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Nice20a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
67 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Dreadful service”
Reviewed 14 August 2013 via mobile

After waiting an hour we left without even getting a glass of water! Quirky should not equal poor service.

Visited September 2012
Thank Wayne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
55 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Terrific, although quirky.”
Reviewed 11 August 2013 via mobile

We went here on the recommendation if a local. Before we went several people "warned" us that the place is a little quirky.

On our night the the food and service were first rate. My partner had home made meatballs with Spaghetti. They were terrific. The portions are VERY generous. I had aubergine stuffed with lamb. This was a lovely surprise. The dish came with mix of salad vegetables. This was wonderful. I heard several other people around me all commenting very favorably about this dish.

The portions are very large, so be careful to ask before you order too much.

Not a romantic getaway, but good food well presented.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank John Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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