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Jano Bistro





Eat your way through four or eight courses at this newly refurbished bistro.

By Catherine Reisima 
NOVEMBER 19, 2018

Foodies rejoice — Jano, the charming bistro in the cute yellow cottage on Willis Street, has reopened its doors after a ten-month hiatus.

The unassuming restaurant known for its innovative, elegant food and welcoming vibes is a bit of a darling of the Wellington food scene, with owner and head chef Pierre-Alain Fenoux nabbing several accolades over the last few years, including the coveted Best Festival Dish award at the 2016 Wellington On a Plate.

After a busy three years running Jano, Pierre and his partner and co-owner Diana decided it was time to hit pause for a wee bit to spend time with family and reflect on the Jano journey so far. They also wanted the opportunity to explore some new concepts for their burgeoning business and see where they could to take it next. Now the team have returned with a fresh batch of ideas and energy, and have launched a reimagined restaurant that still boasts all the trimmings that Jano fans have come to know and love.

Scrapping the traditional à la carte menu, Jano have made things simpler for the indecisive diner by instead offering two tasting menus: the smaller four-course Jano Sampler and the indulgent eight-course Jano Experience. Gone are the days of having to commit to just one dish. Now you can try a bit of everything and avoid the dreaded food envy. Whether you just dip your toes in or dive mouth first into all eight courses, this really is the perfect way to get a taste of what Pierre and his team are capable of.

Perusing the menu sample online, the descriptions don't give too much away, but that just adds to the fun, doesn't it? With Jano you can be sure that each course is lovingly crafted and next level delicious. Also expect a few surprises peppered throughout which will have you oohing and aahing. I dare you to keep your camera away.

Along with the format change, the Jano team has branched out to offer a full vegetarian-friendly menu, with some courses offering meat or fish additions if that tickles your tastebuds. In keeping with their laid-back, friendly style, they've also opened up the kitchen area so you can have a yarn with Pierre, and have introduced limited seating each night to give diners a more intimate experience.

Fans will be happy to know that the original Jano philosophy still holds true, including their commitment to sourcing ingredients from local suppliers, keeping things fresh and seasonal, as well as their bistronomy style of dining — serving exquisite food in a relaxed environment.

Just like your favourite band getting back together, Jano is a welcome return. I can't wait to go back for seconds.

Jano is open Wednesday to Sunday, 5.30pm till late, at 270 Willis Street. 

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