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Monday, August 25, 2008

The Age Good Food Guide 2009

This years lottery winners are:

"Vittoria" Restaurant of the Year:

Best New Restaurant of the Year:
Bistro Guillame

Chef of the Year:
Frank Camorra (Movida)

Best Country Restaurant of the Year:
Royal Mail Hotel

Best Country New Restaurant of the Year:
Tea Rooms of Yarck

Wait, there's more

Wine list of the Year:
Circa, The Prince

Best Short Wine List:
Ten Minutes by Tractor

Wine Service Award:
Rocco Esposito 

Winery Restaurant of the Year:
Giant Steps

Best Bacchus:
Bar Lourinha

Young Chef of the Year:
Chris Donnellan (Gingerboy) and
Justin Wise (Press Club)

Outstanding Achievement Award:
Con Christopoulos

Service Excellence Award:
Martin Fairhurst (Lake House)

Professional Excellence Award:
Will Studd

Dish of the Year:
Smoke trout broth, crackling, basil seeds and fresh smoke (Attica)

Website of the Year:
Three One Two 


City fashion

3 hats
Jacques Reymond
Vue de Monde (up from 2)

2 hats
Bistro Guillaume (new)
Cafe di Stasio
Circa, the prince
Flower Drum
Grossi Florentino
MoVida (up from 1)
Rockpool Bar and Grill
Taxi Dining Room
Three One Two
Verge (up from 1)

One Hat
Becco (down from 2)
Cecconi's Cantina
Church St Enoteca (new)
Comme Kitchen
Esposito (new)
Estivo (new)
European (new)
Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons (new)
Il Bacaro
Maha (new)
Melbourne wine room
Oyster little bourke
Paladarr Thai Issan (new)
Red emperor
Sarti (new)
Tempura Hajime
The Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel
The Court House
The Grand
The Italian (new)
The Press Club (down from 2)

Country style:

2 hats
Lake House
Merrijig Inn (up from 1)
Royal Mail Hotel (new)
Simone's Restaurant

1 hat
Annie Smithers' Bistrot
Bellbrae Harvest (new)
Eleonore's at Chateau Yering (new)
Healesville Hotel
Pettavel winery & restaurant
Royal George Hotel
Tea rooms of Yarck (new)
The Outpost Retreat
Wardens food & wine

After having a day to consider, it is now time for the Paalo Rant (I have rested and now I rant, a rest-o-rant)

Firstly, congratulations to all the winners, yes really, a hat = $ and a lot of these restuarants have to massage egos to get that hat to catch "The Greater Restaurant Tit" (Thank you Matt but you forgot "The Greater Wobbly Booby" of the genus "Restauranti Criticulus")

This year is no different to every other year, it's not so much as who got the hats but who didn't. Last year the de-hatting generated the media hype and this year the picking of blooming poppies is no doubt meant to sell a couple of dead trees. As for the issue of mediocrity, you really couldn't find a better organisation to be judging that.

Naturally I consider that some places have too many hats (In a couple of cases two too many) and there are places that should have more hats. I'm sure that we all can say "If so and so got one hat how come X and Y didn't get any" and frankly I can't be bothered putting out the flames the naming names will create.

What I will say however, is that the judges of the best web site must have been milking those picked poppies, unless the criteria was to pick a site that is designed to make punters go and buy a restaurant guide, in which case they picked the right one.


  1. Anonymous08:35


    I must admit I've missed your previous commentary on the good food guide, I take it you wouldn't trust it's recommendations?

  2. Anonymous19:22

    Just a backhander boys (and gal) brigade it is...

  3. Couldn't agree with you more on the website judging! Love the food at 312 but you have to be out of your mind to think their website is commendable.

  4. I think if you take the GFG as a work of fiction rather than a guide to what are the better restaurants in our state then it can be an amusing read.

    I find it to be a book where those involved "settle the scores" with those they disapprove of. They make "statements" and push agendas with their edicts and all their pettiness and vindictiveness flows through the tome. The whole thing lacks transparency - the food mafia thrives in that environment where it's not your ability but your connections that count. Make the right noises, defer to their greatness and you will be awarded favorably.


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