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“Quirky pretty much covers it”

White House Cafe and Bar
Ranked #28 of 85 Restaurants in Wanaka
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Contemporary
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Quirky pretty much covers it”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

This IS a quirky place, a little cold on the November night we were there, none too clean but overall a fun, relaxed atmosphere. We actually liked the grumpy owner. And although dismayed about the price of the wine we were excited about the food choices on the blackboard. We were disappointed when we were served however as my arugula salad had no arugula and my husband's pasta with red peppers had no red peppers (they were in my salad!) When we asked the waitress she said because we had arrived so late (8:30) the kitchen was probably out of the ingredients on the menu and had substituted. So heads up - if you go to the White House go early and make sure they actually have the ingredients to make what you are ordering. (Also try to sit away from the windows and next to the fire on cool evenings.)

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank jetmail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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223 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing food!”
Reviewed January 20, 2013

This place is definitely eccentric, however the food is fantastic! We were a bit surprised at the unusual decor of this place (particularly the boards they use as menus!), and were unsure as to what it would be like, so we were pleasantly surprised when the food came out. In addition, the service was very good, and the wine list is extensive.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank gal_melbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Particularly disappointing”
Reviewed January 14, 2013

Various diners have rated this venue highly, we went along quite excited only to have our expectations dashed. This restaurant has very shabby, worn decor. The chairs are a jumble of rickety oddments as if they were picked up at garage sales. The table was sticky and needed a thorough clean. Main course dishes were around $38-$40. The meal choices were limited but had interesting ingredients, yet were too salted to our taste. Although the serving was large, 5 potatoes was too many. We found that the presentation was only just average. The wine list was very good but very pricey at $50-$70 per bottle.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Bernard P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
291 reviews
148 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Very charming and quirky place with superb food”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We visited this place based on reviews on trip advisor and its just as well because you might well miss it if you were walking by. It's off the main street and not very well sign posted. It initially felt a little strange when walking in but we were soon won over by it's charm and quirkyness.

The menu is very simple (which we like) and centres around a choice of 6 different bruchettas for $10 and then a selection of mains. We got two bruchetta and one moroccon lamb salad main. All were cooked to perfection with extremely fresh and tasty ingredients. I love food that sets the taste buds alight and this was one of those restaurants.

We finished with two desserts. A rhubarb fool and a chocolate brownie. That doesn't do them justice really as both were superbly complex and tasty.

It's not the cheapest of places but it's also not fine dining prices. If we lived in Wanaka it would definitely be a local of ours.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CarlEdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“There is only so much dirt that can be excused by great food..”
Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

We heard rave reviews of this place.. We heard it was quirky. We heard the owner was grumpy and we heard the food is fantastic..all were true..

What no one is saying though is that this little quirky place is filthy. The toilets are disgusting, the tables are sticky and for main meals that are about $40 each you want to be sure that the kitchen doesn't resemble the rest of the place.. The wines are atrociously overpriced as an extra sting..

Don't get me wrong, our meals were absolutely delicious...but I really think they are having themselves on..

You've got top food but pull the mop out and mop the floors.. Go into the bathroom and check it out before the start of the night and if your fresh flowers are dead and falling all over the floor, get a dustpan and broom and sort it out..

At the end of the day only so much is excused as quirky...

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Maw2251
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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