Australia’s Top Destinations To Wine And Dine

If you’re wondering where to go for the best dining experiences in Australia, look no further…

Australia’s best chefs, sommeliers and dining establishments have been honoured at the national Good Food Guide Awards in Melbourne for the first time, marking the official launch of the 2019 Good Food Guide.

Jock Zonfrillo’s Restaurant Orana (SA) nabbed the night’s top honour of Vittoria Restaurant of the Year – following his win in the Food for Good category last year, while Peter Gilmore (Quay, NSW) took out the prestigious Citi Chef of the Year award, and Jodie Odrowaz (Iki Jime, VIC) was named the Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year.

New Restaurant of the Year was awarded to Laura (VIC), while Santa Vittoria Regional Restaurant of the Year went to the much-lauded Brae (VIC).

Also unveiled at the awards was this year’s edition of Australia’s most prestigious annual food bible – the Good Food Guide 2019, now in its 39th edition. Known for its independent, anonymous reviews written by a panel of trusted restaurant critics, the Guide recognises the best Australian restaurants nationally with ‘hats’, symbolised by a chef’s toque, with the term ‘hatted’ now embedded in the Australian lexicon.

To secure a coveted spot in the Guide, restaurants in New South Wales and Victoria must score at least 14 out of 20, while all other states must score a minimum of 15.

More than 500 restaurants from Darwin, Hobart, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Canberra were reviewed, with 264 of these receiving hat status, ranging from one to three.

Only seven restaurants nationally achieved the top accolade of three hats: Attica (VIC), Brae (VIC), Momofuku Seiobo (NSW), Minamishima (VIC), Quay (NSW), Restaurant Orana (SA) and Sixpenny (NSW).

The catalogue of influential Guide editors includes founding editors Claude Forell in Melbourne and Leo Schofield in Sydney – along with Terry Durack, Jill Dupleix and Matthew Evans – who have charted the growth of the restaurant industry in Australia, and helped to shape it.

The 2019 Good Food Guide Award Winners

Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year – Restaurant Orana, South Australia

Winner criteria: Ticks every box. The winning restaurant does not need to receive three hats, but must capture the mood of the nation right now and exemplify what it means to be a world-class restaurant.


  • Quay, Sydney
  • Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney
  • Cutler & Co, Melbourne
  • Brae, Birregurra

New Restaurant of the Year – Laura, Victoria

Winner criteria: The most exciting opening in the past 12 months, this restaurant sets the eating agenda and starts conversations. Represents everything that’s fresh, hot and interesting about dining.


  • Poly, Sydney
  • Matilda 159 Domain, Melbourne
  • Yarri, Dunsborough
  • Bert’s, Sydney

Citi Chef of the Year – Peter Gilmore, Quay, New South Wales

Winner criteria: This chef must be at the forefront of dining, setting new standards, creating new flavour combinations, doing something original, and adding something extra to the Australian dining scene.


  • Paul Carmichael, Momofuku Seiobo
  • Analiese Gregory, Franklin
  • Dan Hunter, Brae
  • Josh Niland, Saint Peter

Santa Vittoria Regional Restaurant of the Year – Brae, Victoria

Winner criteria: The best beyond metro limits. The winning establishment must provide a restaurant experience comparable to anything in the city but remain uniquely regional.


  • Laura, Victoria
  • The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery, New Norfolk
  • Fleet, Brunswick Heads
  • Muse Restaurant, Hunter Valley

Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year – Jodie Odrowaz, Iki Jime, Victoria

Winner criteria: This award is chosen by a panel of food professionals led by Damien Pignolet. It celebrates the memory of a great young chef and is the ultimate accolade for a committed and talented young cook.


  • Monika Frkovic , Vic
  • Malcolm Hanslow, ACT
  • Daniel Lidgard, Vic
  • Jessica Moore, NSW

Wine List of the Year – Otto, Queensland

Winner criteria: A diverse and high-quality by-the-glass selection alongside an accessible bottle list that displays a good range of vintages and complements the restaurant’s food and style.


  • Marion, Melbourne
  • Aubergine, Canberra
  • 1889 Enoteca, Brisbane
  • Aria, Sydney

The author is a part of one of the leading construction company who has been working on various International projects. He expresses his views regularly through his personal blog.

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