Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Good Food Guide Awards 2016 - winners and losers

The awards are out and 61 hats are on, so let's cut to the chase and see who's in and who's out.

It seems nothing changes in the top category with Esquire taking out the top Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year award for the fourth year in a row making it one of Australia's most awarded venues.

Josue Lopez taking home the Citi Chef of the Year award and two hats for GOMA Restaurant

GOMA Restaurant joined the two hats brigade with chef Josue Lopez taking home the Citi Chef of the Year award.

There was plenty of movement in the city and suburbs one hat category with 1889 Enoteca and The Catbird Seat Bistro, both at Woolloongabba moving in along with Deer Duck  Bistro at Auchenflower, Montrachet at Paddington and Thomson's Reserve, Spring Hill.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that Montrachet is heading for two stars next year.

Losing a hat were 85 Miskin Street, Toowong; Jellyfish, Brisbane; Reserve, Milton; Restaurant Two, Brisbane; Tartufo,  Fortitude Valley; and Vintaged, Brisbane.

No surprises in the Regional two hats category, but lots of movement in the one hats with The Peak at Spicers Maryvale; A Touch of Salt, Townsville; Homage, Grandchester; Kyomi, Broadbeach; Moo Moo, Broadbeach; Ricky's Riverbar & Restaurant, Noosa Heads; Sails, Noosa Heads; Social Eating House, Broadbeach; Verasion, Toowoomba; and Verve, Broadbeach Waters all gaining entry.

Only two, Berardo's  (closed) and Chill on Tedder at Main Beach lost hats.

So it seems if you want to try some of the newly hatted regional restaurants, head to Noosa, Broadbeach or, most surprisingly, Toowoomba!

Interestingly, the regions toppled Brisbane’s dominance with 32 versus 29 chef’s hats, showing the depth of talent across Queensland coming to the fore.

Philip Johnson of  E'cco

Congratulations to all the award winners including-

Phillip Johnson of E’cco Bistro, Brisbane, winner of the Vittoria Coffee Legend

Larry and Amanda Hinds and Natascha Mirosch

People’s Choice Award to Indulge CafĂ©, Bundaberg run by the wonderful Larry and Amanda Hinds.  This is a must stop place when you are visiting  Bundaberg.

Young Chef of the Year winng Ollie Hansford, Gauge, Brisbane  - put this restaurant on your list.

The Brisbane Times Queensland Good Food Guide 2016 is available from participating newsagents for $7.99 or online  for $9.99 (including postage and handling).

Here's the full list of Hats

Metro – Brisbane & Suburbs

Three Hats
Esquire (Brisbane)
Two hats
ARIA (Brisbane), Esq, Brisbane, Urbane (Brisbane), GOMA Restaurant
One hat
Stokehouse (South Bank), Black Hide Steakhouse (Petrie Terrace), Cinco Bistro (Camp Hill), E’cco Bistro (Brisbane), The Euro (Brisbane), The Foraging Quail (New Farm), Gerard’s Bistro (Fortitude Valley), Il Centro (Brisbane), Malt Dining (Brisbane), Moda (Brisbane), Prive 249 (Brisbane), Public (Brisbane), Sake (Brisbane), 1889 Enoteca, Woolloongabba, The Catbird Seat Bistro ( Brisbane), Deer Duck Bistro ( Brisbane , Montrachet ( Brisbane), Thomson’s Reserve (Brisbane)


Two hats
The Fish House (Burleigh Heads), The Long Apron (Montville), The Peak (Maryvale), The Tamarind (Maleny), Wasabi Restaurant & Bar (Noosa Sound)
One hat
A Touch of Salt (Townsville), Allure on Currumbin (Currumbin), Harrison’s (Port Douglas), Homage (Grandchester), Kiyomi (Broadbeach), Moo Moo Gold Coast (Broadbeach), Nu Nu (Palm Cove) , Ricky’sRiverbar & Restaurant (Noosa Heads), room81 (Broadbeach) , Sails (Noosa Heads), Seaduction (Surfers Paradise), Social Eating House (Broadbeach), Tamarind (Cairns), Veraison (Toowoomba), Verve (Broadbeach Waters), Coast (Hervey Bay), Ristorante Fellini (Main Beach), RockSalt (Broadbeach), Salt Grill (Surfers Paradise), Spirit House (Yandina), Ten Japanese (Broadbeach), Vanitas (Main Beach).

Congratulations to Dalton Hospitality for the catering on the night, a wonderful selection of freshly shucked oysters, cheese and charcuterie with hot food including tempura heritage carrots. 

Photographs courtesy of Sarah Keayes Photography, smok.com.au

Disclaimer:  Kerry Heaney was a reviewer for the Good Food Guide 2016

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Cafe crimes! Five things that bug me about cafes

My breakfast arrives and it looks perfect. Lightly poached eggs with runny centres atop crisp corn fritters with a side of smokey bacon, but where's the plate?

Instead of a clean white plate, breakfast is on a wooden board, the latest trend in cafe culture.  It looks attractive but what about the hygiene?  How many runny eggs have seeped into the porous wooden surface?

These bits of wood can't go through a high temperature dishwasher so how do they keep them clean and germ free?  I'm pretty sure they are not bleaching the tens of planks used in a cafe each day.

No problem if the board is used as a platter to serve sandwiches or food that's not likely to run into the wood but definitely not eggs that you will have to mop up off the surface.

So here are five things that bug me about cafes.  Add in yours in the comments below.

1. Wooden boards as plates

See above.

2. Tables too close together
If I have to turn sideways to walk between your tables, they are too close together. I don't want to hear the person next to me eating their food unless they are related to me, ever.

3. Jars used as glasses
It's trendy but it's just not nice.  Drinking from a thin lipped glass feels better and it's easier to appreciate the flavours of the contents. And you can't convince me those jars with the mug handles are recycled, even if there's a paper straw involved.

4. Undisclosed onion
Onion should not be the silent partner to every sandwich, the secret ingredient in every salad and the garnish on every hamburger.  If it is, please include it in the menu description and give me an onion-free option.  That includes red onion too.

5. Mean and mingy cutlery
I know cost is always a factor at cafes and restaurants, but when the cutlery is so thin it hurts my hands to cut, I'm not impressed.  Please spend just a little more and get some decent cutlery that feels good in your hand.

The Sofitel's Prive 249 has the most divine black and gold cutlery.

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK is just having a rant.

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