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“Quirky, very grubby, but the food is good”

White House Cafe and Bar
Ranked #26 of 86 Restaurants in Wanaka
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Contemporary
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
new zealand
Level Contributor
120 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Quirky, very grubby, but the food is good”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

Yes it is as grubby as it looks. Our table was so sticky the paper napkins covering the cutlery stuck to the table. The rugs hadn't seen a vacuum in a long time.
However the food is excellent. Good vegetarian selection. Good wine list and good selection by the glass. Overall food and wine are both quite pricey . The service was fine. Go for the food but it is not a particularly comfortable restaurant to linger in.

Visited January 2014
2 Thank holyisle
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
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fabulous food, but!”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We went to the White House for tea recently. The first thing we noticed was how grubby the place was. It looked like it had not been cleaned in weeks. Apart from that, we could not fault the food and service. It would be good if they could supply a more reasonable priced wine, as the lowest cost wine was $60 but there was a great variety to choose from. It is obviously the place to meet and eat in Wanaka. Would we go back, yes we would, because the food was exceptional but suggest you take your own table cloth to cover the sticky table.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank NewVenture
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
326 reviews
280 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Fabulous food!”
Reviewed December 20, 2013

The White House turned out to be an unpretentious house with a bar area and a few indoor tables, But incredible food and wine choices. The starters are all different bruschettas du jour (menu and extensive wine list are all on chalk board and presumably change daily). We had the smoked mussels and asparagus and chilli jam which was heavenly. We then shared a main course, their signature eggplant stuffed with lamb with beet/rocket salad. The chalkboards had about 20 white and 20 red wines, most of them available also by the glass at 1/5 the bottle price. Great choices. A wonderful and memorable dinner.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank docnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Hidden gem”
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Arrived quite late in the evening and the place was very busy but we were promptly seated at the bar, must say the place is bit tucked away from the busy lakefront but loved the Mediterranean art deco feel. Huge selection of New Zealand wines by the glass and the owner offered us that we could open any bottle from the shelf to drink a glass or two !! The food was amazing, probably one of the best meals we ever had, ingredients were fresh and had stunning range of flavors. Definitely looking forward to visit again.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Ben M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Fantastic steak & Vegan friendly too!”
Reviewed November 26, 2013 via mobile

This place was recommended by our hotel, as we were looking for somewhere that was Vegan friendly, which has not been too easy in New Zealand. The place itself does look like a Greek taverna and is full of character (and a few cobwebs!). The waitress was welcoming and cheerful, despite being very busy. They tailored one of the starters and one of the mains for my partner, who is Vegan. Not sure what his mains was but it seemed to have lots of roasted vegetables and he said it was fantastic. I had one of the best steaks I've had for a while.
I had a sweet, which consisted of a jam jar full of rhubarb fool, pears, and dark chocolate chips. It was delicious and had loads of different tart flavours. It defeated me though and would have easily served two.
The meal cost us around $175 but that included 2 starters, 2 mains, one sweet, and a very nice bottle of Pinot Noir. We thought it very good value, given the quality and presentation of the food, which was superb. Ok, we could have eaten for much less elsewhere, but as a treat this was definitely worth it.

Visited November 2013
Thank JohnP26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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