The industry’s night of nights

Savour Australia Hostplus Awards for Excellence.
Photo: Glenn Hunt

The cream of the country’s restaurant and catering crop gathered in Brisbane recently for the national Savour Australia Hostplus Awards for Excellence.

On a warm Brisbane night at the end of October, restaurateurs and caterers from around the country gathered at the newly gentrified Howard Smith Wharves underneath the Story Bridge to attend the 2019 Savour Australia Hostplus Awards for Excellence.

“Tonight, we have finalists from all over this great nation to compete in these prestigious awards that have no equal when it comes to integrity and the assessment process, and what better venue?” said R&C National President Con Castrisos.

This year marked the twentieth year the Association has run the awards. It was perhaps appropriate, then, that Tetsuya Wakuda’s eponymous restaurant in Sydney—which has so dominated hospitality in Australia for the last two decades—should go home with the award for Restaurant of the Year. 

Other major award winners were Café Alere, which won Café of the Year, and Encore, St Kilda, which took home Caterer of the Year. The recognition for these and other category winners comes from a sophisticated, objective judging system that isn’t swayed by trends or self-promotion.

“These awards are all about wanting to win,” said Chair of Judges Stewart White. “About wanting to be the best, not giving up, and never sitting back and being satisfied.

“At the end of the day, these Awards uniquely provide you with a benchmark for you to analyse, compare and evaluate your operation against your food service peers to help you make a greater effort and perhaps drive change.”

As CEO Wes Lambert acknowledged, “To even make it to this point is an incredible achievement.”

The value of seeing which of your peers went home with awards was underscored by Castrisos, who said; “There is no industry as competitive as ours nor is there a more complex business model than a restaurant or catering business, with operators having to be competent in many various disciplines including complying with a far-from-simple award system, industrial relations, accounting, retail leases, IT, social media, marketing, workplace safety and counselling. As an operator you need to be on top of these skill sets or face extinction.”

Castrisos also took to opportunity to preview some of the changes that are coming to the association in the near future: “Our board have directed CEO Wes Lambert to look at building membership and provide members with all that they need to successfully operate in this climate. We will have a new RCA App available to members in the next few months which provide members with everything they need at their fingertips. We will also have upgraded our website to better engage members.”

While the headwinds facing the industry are always in the background, this evening was one of celebration. “You are the entertainers,” Castrisos said to the assembled nominees. “You make people happy, you make the world a far better place to live in, and for that we salute you.”


2019 R&CA Awards for Excellence National winners & finalists

RESTAURANT AWARDS

ASIAN RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Prospa

 GOLD – China Doll Restaurant, Woolloomooloo, Sydney, NSW

 SILVER – Gingerboy, Melbourne, VIC

BAKERY/PATISSERIE

Sponsored by Hostplus

GOLD – Kalymnos Pastries, Torrensville, SA 

BEER CAFÉ/WINE BAR

Sponsored by OneMusic

GOLD –  Neighbourhood Wine, Fitzroy North, VIC 

SILVER – 10 William St, Sydney, NSW

BREAKFAST RESTAURANT

Sponsored by H&L Australia

 GOLD – The Tamarind Restaurant, Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny, QLD

 SILVER – Sokyo, Pyrmont, Sydney, NSW 

 BRONZE – Oar, West Lakes, SA 

BURGER BAR

Sponsored by OneMusic

GOLD – Down N’ Out, Sydney, NSW

SILVER – Big Rigz Burger Co, South Fremantle, WA 

BRONZE – Burger Republic, Henley Beach, SA

CAFÉ DINING

Sponsored by Deputy

GOLD – Café Alere, Bedford Park, SA

SILVER -The Shaggy Cow, Mittagong NSW (Regional)

BRONZE – Urban Paddock Café, Dalby, QLD

CHINESE RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Menulog

GOLD – Natural Nine, Canberra, ACT

SILVER – Lau’s Family Kitchen, St Kilda, VIC

BRONZE – 8 on the Point, Perth, WA

COFFEE SHOP/TEA HOUSE

Sponsored by Deputy

GOLD – Mecca Coffee, Alexandria, NSW

SILVER – Proud Mary, Collingwood, VIC

BRONZE – Coffee Niche, Wagga Wagga, NSW (Regional)

CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN RESTAURANT – FORMAL

Sponsored by American Express

 GOLD -Ezard, Melbourne, VIC

 SILVER – Blackbird Bar & Restaurant, Brisbane, QLD

 BRONZE – Automata, Chippendale, NSW

CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN RESTAURANT – INFORMAL

Sponsored by American Express

GOLD – Vintners Bar & Grill, Angaston, SA

SILVER – Steamers Bar & Grill, Wollongong, NSW (Regional)

BRONZE – Carlton Wine Room, Carlton, VIC

FAMILY DINING RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Menulog

GOLD – Club Croc Bistro, Cannonvale, QLD

SILVER – Beachcomber Café, St Kilda, VIC

BRONZE – Merimbula Aquarium & Wharf Restaurant, Merimbula, NSW (Regional)

FINE DINING RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Sanpellegrino

GOLD – Tetsuya’s, Sydney, NSW

FRENCH RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Alsco

GOLD – Montrachet, Bowen Hills, QLD

GREEK RESTAURANT

Sponsored by TheFork – A TripAdvisor Company

GOLD – ESTIA Restaurant, Henley Beach, SA

INDIAN/SUB-CONTINENT RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Prospa

GOLD – Delhi ‘O’ Delhi, Newtown, NSW

SILVER – DAANA, Curtin, ACT

BRONZE – Laxmi’s Tandoori Indian Restaurant, Glenunga, SA

ITALIAN RESTAURANT – FORMAL

Sponsored by TheFork – A TripAdvisor Company

GOLD – Bottega, Melbourne, VIC

SILVER – Ormeggio at the Spit, Mosman, NSW

BRONZE – Mezzalira on London, Canberra, ACT

ITALIAN RESTAURANT – INFORMAL

Sponsored by TheFork – A TripAdvisor Company

GOLD – I Maccheroni, Woollahra, NSW

SILVER – Il Cacciatore Restaurant, Pokolbin, NSW (Regional)

JAPANESE RESTAURANT

Sponsored by American Express

GOLD – RAKU Dining, Canberra, ACT

SILVER – Kiyomi – The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach, QLD

BRONZE – Azuma, Sydney, NSW

NEW RESTAURANT

Sponsored by H&L Australia

GOLD – 6HEAD, The Rocks, NSW

SILVER – Cam St Social, Wembley, WA

BRONZE – MoVida, Lorne, VIC

PIZZA RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Sanpellegrino

GOLD – Lost in a Forest, Uraidla, SA

SILVER – 48h Pizza e Gnocchi Bar, South Yarra, VIC

BRONZE – Rosso Antico, Newtown, NSW

RESTAURANT IN A HOTEL/MOTEL/RESORT/CASINO

Sponsored by Malt Shovel

 GOLD – Garden Kitchen & Bar – The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach, QLD

 SILVER – The Playford Hotel Restaurant, Adelaide, SA

BRONZE – Seasalt – Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific, Terrigal, NSW (Regional)

RESTAURANT IN A PUB/CLUB/TAVERN

Sponsored by Malt Shovel

GOLD – The Espy Kitchen – Hotel Esplanade, St Kilda, VIC

SILVER – The Valley Restaurant – Easts Leisure and Golf, East Maitland, NSW (Regional)

BRONZE – Royal Oak Hotel, Penola, SA

RESTAURANT IN A WINERY

Sponsored by H&L Australia

GOLD – Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant, Pokolbin, NSW (Regional)

SILVER – Sandalford Wines Restaurant, Caversham, WA

BRONZE – Bocca di Lupo – Mitolo Wines, Mclaren Vale, SA

SEAFOOD RESTAURANT – FORMAL

Sponsored by Entertainment Publications

GOLD – Wilsons Boathouse, Manly, QLD

SEAFOOD RESTAURANT – INFORMAL

Sponsored by Entertainment Publications

GOLD – Sealevel Restaurant, Cronulla, NSW

SILVER – Hortas, Port Noarlunga, SA

BRONZE – Shuck Restaurant, Main Beach, QLD

SMALL BAR

Sponsored by OneMusic

GOLD – Vernon’s Bar, Summer Hill, NSW

SILVER – Chapter & Verse Bar and Lounge, Surfers Paradise, QLD

BRONZE – Arthur Waterhouse Lounge, Crafers, SA

SPECIALITY RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Entertainment Publications

GOLD – Mercado, Sydney, NSW

SILVER – Red Ochre Grill, North Adelaide, SA

BRONZE – Mjølner, Redfern, NSW

STEAK RESTAURANT

Sponsored by H&L Australia

GOLD – Black Bar and Grill, Pyrmont, NSW

SILVER – The Cottage, Scone, NSW (Regional)

BRONZE – Black Hide by Gambaro at Treasury, Brisbane, QLD

THAI RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Prospa

GOLD – Soi 38, Adelaide, SA

SILVER – Joe’s Table, Darlinghurst, NSW

BRONZE – Longrain, Melbourne, VIC

TOURISM RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Airbnb

GOLD – Jonah’s Restaurant & Boutique Hotel, Whale Beach, NSW

SILVER – Rick Stein at Bannisters, Mollymook Beach, NSW (Regional)

BRONZE – Mayura Station’s Tasting Room, Millicent, SA

TURKISH RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Hostplus

GOLD – Yagiz, South Yarra, VIC

SILVER – Efendy, Balmain, NSW

VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

Sponsored by Menulog

GOLD – The Balfour Kitchen – Spicers Balfour Hotel, New Farm, QLD

CATERING AWARDS

CORPORATE CATERER

Sponsored by American Express

GOLD – European Catering Services Pty Ltd, Alexandria, NSW

SILVER – Sodexo – PwC Melbourne, Southbank, VIC

EVENTS CATERER

Sponsored by Malt Shovel

GOLD – Wine & Dine’m Catering, Woolloongabba, QLD

SILVER – Optus Stadium, Burswood, WA

BRONZE – Blanco Catering, Newton, SA

FUNCTION/CONVENTION CENTRE CATERER

Sponsored by Alsco

GOLD – Hotel Realm, Barton, ACT

SILVER – Australian Turf Club – Rosehill Gardens, Rosehill, NSW

BRONZE – Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane, QLD

RESTAURANT CATERER

Sponsored by Sanpellegrino

GOLD – The Convent – Circa 1876, Pokolbin, NSW (Regional)

SILVER – Aqua Dining, Milsons Point, NSW

BRONZE – The Grand Dining Room & Bar, Richmond, VIC

SITE/INDUSTRIAL CATERER

Sponsored by Ascent Footwear

GOLD – Trippas White Group – Australian Institute of Sport, Bruce, ACT

SILVER – Trippas White Group – The Scots College, Bellevue Hill, NSW

BRONZE – Eurest – BAE Flying School, Tamworth, NSW (Regional)

SMALL CATERER

Sponsored by Hostplus

GOLD – Rustic Kitchen, Woollahra, NSW

SILVER – Owen Andrews Barossa Catering, Seppeltsfield, SA

VENUE CATERER

Sponsored by Deputy

GOLD – Trippas White Group – Australian War Memorial, Campbell, ACT

SILVER – AEG Ogden – RAC Arena, Perth, WA

BRONZE – Blond Catering – Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Darling Point, NSW

WEDDING CATERER

Sponsored by Alsco

GOLD – Encore, St Kilda, VIC

SILVER – Doltone House – Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW

BRONZE – Gabbinbar Homestead, Middle Ridge, QLD 


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