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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Food and ambience

Local cuisine, European, New Zealand, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly
Special Occasion Dining, Romantic, View, Groups, Business meetings
About
From lake, land and ocean, our seasonal New Zealand a la carte lunch and dinner brings the region's best offerings to your plate. Located at the elegant Hilton Lake Taupo, boasting stunning lake views and guided by the expertise of celebrity Chef Gareth Stewart, Bistro Lago is a culinary experience not to be missed.
PRICE RANGE
$24 - $38
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, After-hours
CUISINES
European, New Zealand, Contemporary
FEATURES
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Waterfront, Gift Cards Available
Reviews (693)
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Traveller rating
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Reviewed 1 week ago

We celebrated our mother's 70th with a high tea. What excellent service, yummy food and a wonderful environment. Very impressed with the food - plenty of it, beautifully presented and super tasty. Thanks for such a lovely day!

Date of visit: March 2024
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Embarrassing to take our overseas visitor to! Over the years we have visited this restaurant and had experienced quality food. Sadly, not this time. The Maitre D saw me enter the restaurant, made eye contact however I was left waiting for him to approach me...at the counter for I would guess 2-3 minutes, it felt like a long time! When we were seated, we noticed the table next door being served fish on a large platter - the juices from the platter was slopped over the pants of a lady sitting at the table, this went un-noticed by the guest with no effort made to clean up by wait staff. Our food was abysmal to say the least although, my hungry husband did eat the steak which he described as "average". I opted for two entrees - the beef entrée (beef tartare) looked like something the cat spewed up, presentation and taste horrendous, I could not eat it! The buratta entrée was one huge ball of cheese dumped on the plate with very poor presentation, could not taste smoked beetroot at all! Romaine heart salad was just tasteless but it was a nice fresh piece of food to crunch into! The whipped potatoes looked like they had been in oven for days with odd chunks of feta thrown on top! Service was not good - short staffed so can probably let that slide - even the Chef was serving tables. Complained about the food and the Maitre D said he would "speak to the chef" - come on, not entirely the chefs fault; he can see the presentation is just not up to a high standard! A discount was given but something needs to change; this really is an embarrassment especially for the number of international visitors that stay at the HiltonMore

Date of visit: April 2024
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 14 March 2024

We booked High Tea for 4 on Sunday 3 March, rang two days out to confirm booking, also received a telephone call whilst we were traveling from Tauranga to confirm our attendance. When we arrived we were greeted by the external windows covered in painters...masking film, one of the reasons for booking was to enjoy the view of the lake. Food was Ok, when asked if there was a discount for the lack of view, the response was a laugh, upon checking the bill we were over charged for the additional drinks. Emailed them later that night following our return to Tauranga, still waiting on a response. At no time prior to our visit were we advised your experience with be hampered due to building works. Extremely poor customer service, will not recommend this location.More

Date of visit: March 2024
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Reviewed 14 March 2024 via mobile

Great food and view and service except salmon not cooked well enough. Returned but when served later forgot to include the veg

Date of visit: March 2024
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Reviewed 11 February 2024 via mobile

Outstanding food, beautiful setting overlooking the lakeside town of Taupo service was slow but worth the wait, reservation priority for guests in the hotel

Date of visit: February 2024
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Reviewed 26 January 2024

The hapuka was outstanding, exactly as described, beautifully fresh and cooked perfectly with a beautiful, well balanced sauce. However, the shoestring fries were average to poor..why go to the trouble of preparing them with truffle oil and parmesan, then serve them with tomato sauce!! Service...was average our meals arrived before we had finished our cocktail..too quick. Dessert was also fairly average a tart tartin with a nice peach filling, spoiled by a soggy, uncooked pastry. Coffee was average, though espresso martini great. Menu was a bit boring. Music, a couple on acoustic guitar and singing was lovely.More

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed 21 January 2024

The steak platter at $189.00 for four people was an extreme disappointment. The steak was nothing like in the menu. Shoestring fries were better at burger King and should not be in a restraunt of this quality. The staff were excellent and are to be...congratulated.More

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed 2 January 2024 via mobile

We visited as a birthday treat for my wife. The restaurant and views are superb as was the service. Our waitress was everything expected of her, served us promptly and was friendly and helpful. Drinks and food were prompt. Food was OK although sides appeared...particularly expensive. They did however throw in a lovely additional birthday sweets and bread plates which was really appreciated by us and quite unexpected. Overall this is an expensive place to eat, and would be particularly for families. Later on checking our invoice we discovered our public holiday surcharge ended up at more than the 15% expected. I note there was also a provision for tips but in my view this does not have a place in New Zealand.More

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed 7 November 2023 via mobile

The main mess we had we’re definitely exceptional. The dessert was next level superb. Service was okay. Would definitely come here again.

Date of visit: November 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 29 September 2023

Bistro Lago had great reviews, and we chose it to celebrate the last night of our family holiday. We knew it was reasonably pricey, but thought it would be worth it for a special occasion. It's an inviting building; cosy, and attractive decor inside, with...stunning views towards Lake Taupō. Our drink orders were taken and delivered promptly, and we ordered our meals. As time ticked by, we told our teenagers that fine dining restaurants sometimes take a little longer, as they're preparing some pretty special dishes. However, after one hour, we were forced to ask where our meals were. They were delivered 5 mins later - they were tasty, but small portions for the price. During the hour long wait, we saw other tables who were seated after us receiving their meals - and during that hour not one staff member stopped by our table to refill water glasses, offer more drinks, or update us on the status of our meal order. We did feel totally forgotten. After our long wait, and the small portions, we were all still hungry but not prepared to risk getting dessert. We left as quickly as we could, and had to buy takeaways in town to fill us up. It was a disappointing experience for us, not a great end to our holiday, and we don't intend to go back to Bistro Lago again.More

Date of visit: September 2023
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Reviewed 7 August 2023

Bread before dinner was not available as we were told that there was a party at the function room next to the restaurant which took all the bread. Entrees and main courses were extremely salty. The farmers soup - seafood laksa soup - was way...too salty as if each bowl of soup contained heaps of salt. The main courses - beef scotch, fish of the day, confit duck leg and chicken saltimbocca - were overly seasoned and salty and the gravy were thick and salty. Many of us only ate half of the main course as they were just inedible. Due to the saltiness of the dishes, we had to drink a lot of water to feel better. However, the restaurant was short of staff, our requests couldn’t be satisfied within reasonable time frame and we needed to make a few requests before the water bottles were refilled. That said, the mille feuille was nicely done. The flaky pastry was crispy and the custard had a good balance of sweetness. Breakfast served the next morning also met our expectation.More

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 1 August 2023

We were a table of four. There was only one other table that had already had their meals. The service was terrible. The food was mostly inedible. The sides came when we had nearly finished our meals. The Brussels sprouts were slimy and virtually raw....None of us could eat this dish. The beetroot side was out of a can with some bitter old lettuce. Inedible. The cauliflower main for $40 was boiled with some grated cheese thrown on the top. Fish was ok. The hash brown was pure grease and overcooked The chicken was greasy and premade. Awful experience. They must have been very short staffed and I would question whether the regular chef was there as the meals were dreadful. Won’t be going back.More

Date of visit: July 2023
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Reviewed 20 July 2023

Absolutely beautiful. Staff & service was great. We were a group of 6 (4 adults and 2 kids) and still couldn’t finish our plate. It was divine so elegant and welcoming (warm & clean).

Date of visit: July 2023
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Reviewed 4 July 2023

Absolute class. Amazing food. Great atmosphere with a fire. Top quality service with a smile. Despite being fine dining, our kids loved the food. Recommend the lamb and for kids the antipasto platter was ideal for 2 kids. Breakfast was also exactly what we wanted....Great buffet. Will.come back.More

Date of visit: June 2023
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Reviewed 18 June 2023

Service was slow, food took ages to come out. $45 for 2 pieces of chicken on a plate with no sides. Dessert was good tho

Date of visit: June 2023
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Questions & Answers
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gogirl17
13 January 2016|
Answer
Response from Guido P | Property representative |
Hi St. Augustine, Sorry for the late reply. Legally we cannot have trout on the menu, I am afraid. However if you catch one, we are more than welcome to cook it for you. all we need to see if your current fishing license... More
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BISTRO LAGO, Taupo - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions about Bistro Lago

Bistro Lago is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 3.5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5