Tinakori Bistro


Tuesday6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Wednesday6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Thursday6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Friday6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Saturday6:00 – 9:00 pm.


328 Tinakori Road, Thorndon

04-499 0567

A French bistro some 40 years ago, this place has been in the community for many years, and being an integral part of the Thorndon community is something Tinakori Bistro very much wanted to hold on to. Owner/operator/chef and generally multi-talented guy Asher works alongside a talented team, and having previously opened Cult Wine, Hillside Kitchen and The Ramen Shop it’s not surprising to see the same philosophy of ‘affordable but really good food’ running through each venue.

Relishing the history means the bistro team has left some intentional rough edges;   Asher wanted it to be as unintimidating as possible, and the dapper staff dressed all in white who are a smiley welcome as you walk through the door, certainly help with that. The tables are hand-made from recycled wood from old institute Bodega bar, a salute to the history of those gone before, and adding a soft edge to this friendly neighbourhood eatery.

Sourcing local may be on trend, but it’s also just what ‘makes sense’ to the chef who was once a farm kid, and after working in Michelin star restaurants in Europe, can attest to it being exactly what makes NZ cuisine so unique. The cheese used in the meals comes from just out of Masterton, the various forms of pork too from free-roaming pigs just North of the city and the vegetables from growers in the region. Taking reference from classic French dishes, the clever kitchen team plays around with the ingredients to make the dishes appeal to the Kiwi tastebuds – think steak frites, coq au vin blanc and gnocchi Parisienne. The charcuterie board entree definitely deserves a shout out, with everything from the saucission sec to the pork rillete being made on site (some even months before the official restaurant opening).

There’s plenty of wine available on the menu too, French and Kiwi, and choices are made even more exciting with a large range of ‘bin ends’, the very last of a number of limited wines that when they’re sold, they’re gone for good. BYO Sundays are a popular aspect, where the staff are just as intrigued to crack open some ‘pretty interesting’ bottles of wine that locals dredge up from their home cellars and, as an alternative venue to those afternoon sessions, Tinakori Bistro welcomes visitors for the weekday wind down.

Private rooms tucked away upstairs are the perfect escape for Christmas parties, work lunches, birthdays or special events, and aptly named after the superb writer who used to live just down the road, the Katherine Mansfield room has a bright airy feel, with the vibrant graffiti art a cool take on an impressive and much-loved NZ icon.

Words by Rosie Morrison & Photography by Anna Briggs

328 Tinakori Road, Thorndon

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