Riverstone Kitchen, the first regional restaurant to win Cuisine’s restaurant of the year, features in the awards again this year as runner-up for the regional award.
Auckland fine-diner Sidart is Cuisine’s Restaurant of the Year 2014, heading off a string of strong contenders in the highest restaurant count in the 10-year history of the awards.
Winners of the prestigious Cuisine NZ Good Food Awards, held in association with Vittoria Coffee, were announced last night at a glitzy who’s who of the restaurant industry at St-Matthew-in-the-City.
Sidart also took out the title of Sanpellegrino Best Metropolitan Restaurant, with head judge Kerry Tyack describing the degustation-only menu of inspirational and innovative chef Sid Sahrawat as “art on a plate”.
The picture-perfect presentation of superbly flavoured dishes, a complementary drinks list and seamless service made dining at Sidart an experience to be savoured in every way, Tyack says. “Good chefs never stand still – they continuously experiment, evolve and adjust. Over the past year, Sid Sahrawat’s food at Sidart has come into its own and truly excelled.”
Adds Cuisine editor Sarah Nicholson, “This year it’s been tougher than ever before to create a dining experience that stands out from the exceptional group of restaurants in New Zealand. Sid Sahrawat’s food is clever and technical, and looks amazing, but at the end of the day it is absolutely delicious, and that is the most important thing.”
Sixteen new eateries made the cut in the nationwide awards this year, with the total number of coveted chef’s hats increasing to 30 from 2013’s twenty.
The Grove, plus its buzzing new Italian offspring Baduzzi, earned executive chef Benjamin Bayly the title of Vittoria Coffee Chef of the Year. Baduzzi was crowned American Express Best Specialist Restaurant, with Wellington’s popular Ortega Fish Shack & Bar the runner-up.
Nic Watts’ chic Japanese eatery Masu at Auckland’s SkyCity was named Electrolux Best New Restaurant, with the intimate Roots in Lyttelton as runner-up.
The KitchenAid Best Regional Restaurant title went to the smart, laid-back Chim Choo Ree in Hamilton, with North Otago’s awards stalwart Riverstone Kitchen the runner-up. The House of Travel Best Winery Restaurant was Hawke’s Bay’s elegant Elephant Hill, with Central Otago’s picturesque Amisfield Bistro the runner-up.
Proprietor Chris Upton’s long-standing dedication to wine service earned Auckland’s O’Connell Street Bistro the Negociants New Zealand Best Wine Experience award, a new category this year, and the captivating Mojo Horiuchi, manager-sommelier at Auckland’s Kazuya, was named European Foods Restaurant Personality of the Year.
Find full profiles of the winners and other successful restaurants in the Cuisine NZ Good Food Awards 2014 on cuisinegoodfoodguide.co.nz, or get the Cuisine Good Food Guide 2014 free with the July issue of Cuisine, on sale 16 June 2014.
Cuisine NZ Good Food Awards 2014 winners:
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR 2014: Sidart, Auckland
Vittoria Coffee Chef of the Year: Benjamin Bayly, Baduzzi and The Grove, Auckland
Sanpellegrino Best Metropolitan Restaurant: Sidart, Auckland
KitchenAid Best Regional Restaurant: Chim Choo Ree, Hamilton
Runner-up: Riverstone Kitchen, North Otago
Electrolux Best New Restaurant: Masu, Auckland
Runner-up: Roots, Lyttelton
American Express Best Specialist Restaurant: Baduzzi, Auckland
Runner-up: Ortega Fish Shack & Bar, Wellington
House of Travel Best Winery Restaurant: Elephant Hill, Hawke’s Bay
Runner-up: Amisfield Bistro, Central Otago
European Foods Restaurant Personality of the Year: Mojo Horiuchi, Kazuya, Auckland
Negociants New Zealand Best Wine Experience: O’Connell Street Bistro, Auckland
2014 Hat recipients
Scores out of 20 determine a restaurant’s hat rating. One hat is considered very good, two hats are great to excellent and three hats (18-20) mean a restaurant is consistently amazing and among the best of the best.
The French Café, Auckland
The Grove, Auckland
Logan Brown, Wellington
The Grill by Sean Connolly, Auckland
Amisfield Bistro, Queenstown
Charley Noble, Wellington
Chim Choo Ree, Hamilton
Elephant Hill, Hawke’s Bay
O’Connell Street Bistro, Auckland
Orphans Kitchen, Auckland
Ortega Fish Shack & Bar, Wellington
Pegasus Bay, Waipara, North Canterbury
Ponsonby Road Bistro, Auckland
Riverstone Kitchen, Oamaru
Soul Bar & Bistro, Auckland
Taylors on Jackson, Petone
The Larder, Wellington
One of the benefits of tourism and provincial development is the improvement in the quality of food in smaller towns.
Portside, at the harbour and Northstar are also worth a visit and for more casual dining Fat Sally’s is also good.
There’s others featured here.