The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards 2011 Results

Another year, and another great set of results for the 2011 SMH Good Food Guide Awards. But first, I have to apologise on the shoddiness of my photo. I didn’t want to lug around an SLR, so my phone had to do the trick. This year, the awards were held at Water Bar, Woolloomooloo, a much smaller and more intimate venue than last year’s at Carriageworks, Eveleigh. I don’t know whether it was Dutch courage or the fact that I hadn’t just arrived from a 24 hour flight, but this year’s awards night was more of a relaxed affair for myself, and I got to speak to some awesome chefs and restaurateurs. The GFG Editors Joanna Savill and Terry Durack highlighted that this year, Sydney restaurants saw a shift towards produce driven menus and sharing plates (among other trends). The big shock for the night was the demotion of Bilson’s and Tetsuya’s to two hats. Mark Best, last year’s Chef of the Year, took away the Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year award with Martin Benn claiming the Chef of the Year award. Everyone who received an award came up to stage and had a brief speech while we munched on some tasty treats (and some not too tasty)  and drank way more wine than we ought to have drunk.It’s worth mentioning that the 2011 GFG is available online at There will also be an iPhone app, which is awesome. Last year I bought the 2010 iPhone app and I think it’s super useful, but apparently this year, we should also be able to do our restaurant bookings through the website and possibly the app as well, which is even better!

But without further ado, here is the full list of awards winners and hatted restaurants for the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2011. Congratulations to all the winners!

The Awards

Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year
Marque, Surry Hills

Emirates Chef of the Year
Martin Benn of Sepia, Sydney

Plumm Wine Glasses Best New Restaurant
Manly Pavillion, Manly

Navman Best Regional Restaurant
Lochiel House, Kurrajong Heights

Star City Award for Professional Excellence
Peter Doyle of est., Sydney

The Sydney Morning Herald Silver Service Award
Alon Sharman of Arras, Walsh Bay

Louis Roederer Sommelier of the Year
Matthew Dunne of Aria, Sydney

Brown Brothers Wine List of the Year
Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney

Small Wine List of the Year
Spice Temple, Sydney

Regional Wine List of the Year
Margan, Broke

The Josephine Pignolet Best Young Chef
Jason Saxby of Quay, Sydney

Vittoria Legend Award
Michael McMahon of Catalina, Rose Bay

Sydney Fish Market Best Seafood Restaurant
Fish Face, Darlinghurst

Dan Murphy’s Best BYO Restaurant
Il Perugino, Mosman

Coopers Sustainability Award
Margan, Broke

iPhone App People’s Choice Award
Tetsuya’s, Sydney


Favourite bar – LL Wine & Dine, Potts Point
Favourite bar with food – Bloodwood, Newtown
Favourite breakfast – Cafe Giulia, Chippendale
Favourite burger – Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney
Favourite cafe – Le Monde, Surry Hills
Favourite gelato – Pompei’s, Bondi Beach
Favourite pizza – Lucio Pizzeria, Darlinghurst
Favourite pub – Four in Hand, Paddington
Favourite sushi – Sake Restaurant & Bar, The Rocks
Favourite vegetarian menu – Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Surry Hills

The Hats – City

Three Hats
est., Marque, Quay

Two Hats
Aria, Assiette, Becasse, Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Berowra Waters Inn, Bilson’s, Bistro Ortolan, Buon Ricordo, Claude’s, Four in Hand Dining Room, Guillaume at Bennelong, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Lucio’s, Pilu at Freshwater, Rockpool, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sepia, Tetsuya’s, Universal

One Hat
Ad Lib Bistro, Altitude, Arras, Astral, Billy Kwong, Bird Cow Fish, Bistro Moncur, Bistrode, The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, Bodega, buzo trattoria, Cafe Sopra, Catalina, Etch, Fish Face, Flying Fish, Golden Century, Jonah’s Whale Beach, Koi, Longrain, Mad Cow, Manly Pavilion, Omerta, Ormeggio at The Spit, Oscillate Wildly, Otto Ristorante, Pendolino, Pier, Restaurant Balzac, sailors thai restaurant, Sake Restaurant & Bar, Sean’s Panaroma, Spice Temple, Yoshii

The Hats – Regional

Two Hats
Lochiel House (Kurrajong Heights), Rock (Pokolbin)

One Hat
ashcrofts (Blackheath), Bacchus (Newcastle), Bamboo Restaurant & Bar (Casuarina Beach), bells at killcare (Killcare), Bistro Molines (Mount View), Caveau (Woollongong), dish (Byron Bay), Darley’s (Katoomba), Eschalot (Berrima), fins (Kingscliff), Italian and Sons (Canberra), Lolli Redini (Orange), Muse (Pokolbin), Neila (Cowra), No. 2 Oak Street (Bellingen), Ottoman Cuisine (Canberra), Restaurant Como (Blaxland), Satiate (Bangalow), sourcedining (Albury), Waters Edge (Canberra), Zest (Nelson Bay)


  • Bilsons and Tetsuya’s losing a hat is a disgrace. More about the SMH trying to come up with a story I suspect than anything about food. Just because Terry Durack seems to like cheaper food does NOT mean something like Tetsuya’s or Bilson is not an extraordinary experience – which they are. Already read the headlines ‘After losing a hat last year, old timers Bilson’s and Tetsuya’s have lifted their game’. Reality is just because reviewers get bored with something does not mean it has changed. I eat out in London a bit and both those guys are Michelin 3 star. Says more about the SMH’s changing readership and staffing than anything about quality.

  • What was the reaction when it was made clear that Tetsuya’s had lost a hat? With Bilson’s dropping back too, its certainly a bit of a shakeup.
    Doyle’s is understandable as that was a deliberate repositioning and 1 hat was probably the result they wanted.

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