The Hats and the Hat Nots

10 Sept 12 – The foodies among us always eagerly await each new release of the Good Food Guide, nodding our heads vigorously on the awards we agree with and wondering ‘who did they pay’ on others. I once watched a great doco on SBS called Heat in the Kitchen, which tracked three restaurants in the months leading up to the awards. The first was desperately trying to get back a lost hat, the second was just going about its business and was damn delighted to have one, the third didn’t even know what a hat was.

Win hat, phones ring off hook. Lose hat, stare at empty tables. Quite extraordinary the power these little toques have. So here’s a wrap up of this year’s notable changes

Debut Hats
Momofuku – three! – you’ve seen my previous Momofuku write up, think this is a little generous
The Bridge Room, two – its on my Overrated List
Balla, two. Its good I suppose, simple Italian food well executed, but I’m sure you could find a Nonna working in a restaurant in the outer suburbs producing the same at half the price. Or you could just to go my mother’s.
Xanthi, one – oh, that Baklava ice cream!
Apollo, one – keen to visit. Banquet looks like remarkably good value.  No bookings except for big groups, get there early apparently.
4Fourteen, one – my colleague to my right recently gave this place the thumbs up, both food and decor. He suggests you take at least 3 friends for optimum sampling
The Ortolan – need a Frenchie volunteer to vouch for its authenticity
Chiswick – one hat. Really?

Ups and Downs
Ormeggio, up a hat to two. Just lovely for a summer lunch, and well priced for the quality of food. I’ve heard whispers that the Eastern Suburbs set sneak OTB to try it
Buon Ricordo – up a hat to two. A long standing favourite of mine. Everyone should experience Armando’s truffled egg pasta at least once in their lives
Lucio’s – down a hat to one. The two decade long Armando/Lucio friendly rivalry continues.
Ms G’s, one hat. This place is great fun.

Quay took out restaurant of the year (again). Now I don’t know about you lot, but I find this place terribly overrated, and whoever keeps choosing their carpet really needs to rethink their calling.

Have a great week.

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