Superbe, affordable, intimate, relaxed fine dining


How grateful one is to have inspirational grandparents. Jano Bistro’s chef Pierre, spent his childhood harvesting and cooking fruit and vegetables in France with his grandparents Jeannot and Manette. Being an Italian market gardener’s daughter, and married to a fellow Italian market gardener’s son, I salute you with respect and understanding. This is the beginning of good work ethic and discipline for a successful life ahead.

Housed in the former ‘Citron’ which Wellingtonians still lament its closing, this modern Bistro offers a fine dining experience in a relaxed environment without the price tag. Jano’s philosophy is fresh, quality, simple with an appreciation for beauty and innovation. He sources from small local NZ farms and suppliers and only uses free-range or organic ingredients and produce where possible, so the menu can change daily. I love that as it adds to the menu’s mystery and creativity.

Seated upstairs, the sunlight was flooding in along with fabulous memories of Citron. Our top notch maitre’d, Pierre’s wife, explained every dish in minute detail without notes; an acquired skill and her descriptions just oozed passion. She explained that Jano likes to use different cuts and ways of presenting meat and vegetables. We also had two lovely French waitresses serve us, whom we conversed with en Francais, and their sexy accents just added to the whole European experience.

To avoid FOMO (fear of missing out), we opted for the tasting plate of eggplant with cumin and coriander, salmon with mango and ginger and pork with prunes, cauli and miso. Beautifully crafted, we were scared to start however each dish was just sensational.

I chose the lamb leg/shoulder with butternut, feta and sage. Girlfriend instantly got food envy as my dish was larger in portion size than her chicken with capsicum, zucchini and herbs, yet it didn’t falter on exquisite taste. Other friend chose the catch of the day with chorizo, bok choy and squid ink. We chose the one side dish available; potatoes with sage which was absolutely exquisite. We could not bypass sharing a dessert and the Whittakers 72% was a no brainer, dark chocolate is so good for you. Wow this was delicieux and easily satisfied the three of us.

They have a fantastic wine list and as as I’m in charge of choosing the wine as I have not failed yet, we all fell in love with the Barossa Zonte shiraz. It was so smoothe and complimented our evening superbly. If we weren’t driving, we would have ordered a second bottle. Note take taxi next time.

Having that hard work ethic, JanoBistro is open early for breakfast/brunch and as well as a la carte, you can try a degustation (7 course) menu with or without matching wine. I’m bringing hubby back for that and going to try the brunch menu, which features many GF dishes too.

This has to be the best meal experience I’ve had in a long time. Wellington foodies, watch out, JanoBistro is going to be the talk of the town if it’s not already. It just has that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.



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