So the list of hatted restaurants for the SMH Good Food Guide 2007 is out.
Even though reviewers Simon Thomsen and Catherine Keenan say: "we've gone casual and become cost-conscious, without wanting to sacrifice standards", the list is inevitably weighted with top nosh (and top dollar) eateries. Reading through the list reminds me of that time in primary school when the school prefects were announced: a procession of bright shiny pretty things trotting onto the stage, chests puffed, cheeks flushed and pearly whites positively blinding me, standing in green-eyed envy, a pining pathetic figure amidst a mob of ordinary plebs below.
I've eaten at a dismal total of three hatted restaurants, although I suppose if you wanted to get technical you should only really count the restaurants you've eaten at during the past year, the period during which the restaurants were judged. In that case my tally would have a big fat zero. No matter. I'm cheering for the little guys.
EDIT 6/9/06: Am I bitter? No, just wistful that I could have the budget to eat at just a small proportion of the fine hatted restaurants listed. Congratulations to all the recipients listed. Good food? We love it.
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD GOOD FOOD GUIDE 2007
Bilson's (+1), Claude's, est., Guillaume at Bennelong, Marque, Pier (+1), Quay, Tetsuya's
Aria, Becasse (+2), Bentley Restaurant & Bar (+2), Bistro Moncur, Buon Ricordo, Iceberg's Dining Room & Bar, Lucio's, Omega, Pello, Pier Tasting Room (+2), Pilu at Freshwater, Rockpool, Sean's Panaroma, Yoshii
Alchemy 731 (+1), Assiette (+1), Astral (+1), The Bathers' Pavilion Restaurant, Billy Kwong (+1), Bird Cow Fish (+1), Bistro CBD (+1), Bistro Moore, Bistrode (+1), The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay (+1), buzo (+1), Catalina Rose Bay, Coast (+1), Fish Face, Flying Fish, Forbes & Burton (+1), Forty One, Galileo, Grand National, Il Piave, Jonah's (+1), La Sala (+1), Longrain (-1), Lo Studio (+1), Lotus, Mezes at Omega (+1), Milsons, Otto, Restaurant Atelier, Restaurant Balzac (-1), Restaurant Sojourn (+1), Sailors Thai Restaurant (+1), Three Weeds, The Wharf, Ying's
Restaurant of the Year
Chef of the Year
Katrina Kanetani, pastry chef, Pier, Rose Bay
Best new restaurant
Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Surry Hills
Best Regional Restaurant
Fins, Byron Bay
The Sydney Morning Herald Award for Professional Excellence
Tony Bilson of Bilson's, for his commitment to fine dining, the marriage of food and wine, his influence on the next generation of chefs and for 35 years of great food.
The Sydney Morning Herald Silver Service Award
Toni Urquhart of No. 2 Oak Street, Bellingen, for enthusiastic, charming, genuine, warm-hearted country hospitality and being a great sommelier to boot.
The Good Food Guide Sommelier Award
Nick Hildebrandt of Bentley Restaurant & Bar, for showing us a bigger world of wine that's accessible, fascinating and, best of all, fun.
The Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year Award
Philip Wood from Tetsuya's
Favourite bistro Bistrode, Surry Hills
Favourite Mediterranean VINI, Surry Hills
Favourite Asian Billy Kwong, Surry Hills
Favourite pizza La Disfida, Haberfield
Favourite yum cha Marigold Citymark, Haymarket
Favourite bar Bambini Wine Room, city
Favourite cafe Brasserie Bread, Banksmeadow
Restaurants that dropped off the list included: Golden Century, Manta, Perama, Post Seafood Brasserie, Ristorante Riva, Sea Treasure and sushi e.
Restaurants that have sinced closed were, of course, Bistro Lulu and Hugo's.
What I did find more intriguing were the inspired creations by Sydney kitchens to create an edible artwork that incorporated the SMH chef's hat logo.
These included braised beef cheek pie, a honeycomb hat, goat's cheese bavarois and goat's cheese ravioli. I thought the piped meringue for the vacherin created by Kim Camilleri from Restaurant Sojourn was especially cool.
And speaking of Good Living, has anyone else wondered exactly how many different publicity shots are in Bill Granger's file for his Ask Bill column?
Related GrabYourFork posts:
SMH Good Food Guide 2006
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9/05/2006 10:39:00 pm