Last night was the 2014 Eat Out Restaurant Awards sponsored by Mercedez Benz. The top 10 restaurants in South Africa were announced, selected from the 20 nominees announced a few weeks ago. In addition there were category awards, recognising restaurants which are not necessarily fine dining but still offer an exceptional experience.
Due to some restaurants not qualifying for nomination this year due to chefs leaving or arriving, it widened the field a little. Complete newcomer is The Restaurant at Newton Johnson, where chef Eric Bulpitt is doing great work. Restaurant Mosaic has been absent for a few years, nice to see chef Chantel Dartnall getting the recognition she deserves (she was also named chef of the year). The same goes for Michael Broughton at Terroir.
Again a strong showing for the Western Cape with 7 of the top restaurants.
An interesting point was raised on Twitter, isn’t it time to see sustainability criteria in the judging and perhaps one of the categories should be most sustainable restaurant too.
Would love to see a 2015 #eatoutaward rewarding the best sustainable restaurant in South Africa. @AbiDonnelly @andywildonfire
— Longtable Project (@longtablect) November 16, 2014
Here are the winners:
- The Test Kitchen
- Five Hundred
- The Tasting Room
- Restaurant Mosaic
- Jordan Restaurant
- Rust en Vrede
- DW Eleven-13
- The Restaurant at Newton Johnson
Restaurant of the Year: The Test Kitchen
Eat Out S. Pellegrino Chef of the Year: Chantel Dartnall, Restaurant Mosaic
Grolsch Service Excellence: The Tasting Room
Nederburg Rising Star: Kobus van der Merwe, Oep ve Koep (About time Kobus got some proper recognition)
Tsogo Sun Wine Service: Patson Mathonsi, DW Eleven-13 (Good to see they have a wine service award, but I think wine service and wine list should be strong criteria for the judging as well)
The Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award in association with Paarl Media: Eduan Naude and the late Brian Shalkoff
Boschendal Style Award: Equus Dine at Cavalli
Best Asian Restaurant: Kyoto Garden Sushi (Love this spot, read my review here)
Best Everyday Eatery: Chefs Warehouse & Canteen (Also a firm favourite of mine. The best tapas experience in Cape Town. My review is here)
Best Country-Style Restaurant: Café Bloom
Best Italian Restaurant: La Sosta
Best Steakhouse: The Local Grill (Parktown North) (Also won the Steakhouse awards for the last 2 years, I ate there recently, a definite winner)
You can find last year’s winners here.
All deserving, but definitely agree with Long Table that there should be not only recognition, but also a requirement for sustainability focused practices in these food hero restaurants that the whole industry (including suppliers and consumers) look up to.
Agreed, rather than just seeing it as a fad or trend, it should be encouraged and rewarded.