Toque Time (Melbourne) – The Age Good Food Guide 2014 Awards

gfg2013bIt’s that time of year again where tensions run high in the restaurant industry. Will I get one, won’t I? Up, Down? Lost completely? Will my phones be ringing hot tomorrow morning or will there be deathly silence? Its the power of The Hat.

This year’s Victoria award winners, announced in Melbourne last night, are below (Sydney is being announced next week). I do agree with the three hatters (although have not been to Attica yet so will reserve judgement, but it has a list of accolades a mile long, so expectations are high). Review on Vue De Monde coming soon. Flower Drum is seriously expensive Chinese, but the service is world class and there has been some new creativity of late. On my last visit I had some noodles, but they made out of barramundi – they were pretty amazing.

Of the two hatters I’ve been to, Cutler & Co – love; Ezard seemed a bit passe on my last visit, Grossi Fiorentino overrated, Movida is always a solid contender, Rosetta is good Italian but so overpriced for what it is and given other Italian options in Melbourne.

The one hatters, my picks – big fan of Coda, great modern Asian, same with Longrain for fabulous modern Thai; Golden Fields too for Andrew Mcconnell’s clever food; Becco and Il Bacaro are stalwarts in the Melbourne Italian scene and always reliable, and thumbs up to Sarti for great Calabrese. Guilluame didn’t cut it when I went. Taxi was a long time favourite but was very disappointing on a recent visit – though people tell me they have been a little inconsistent of late – lots of highs and lows.

But as always with food, its a personal thing, and we will never all agree.

Drumroll please…..and the winners are…………

City Restaurants

Three hats
Attica, Flower Drum, Jacques Reymond, Vue de Monde. Attica also took out Melbourne Restaurant of the Year.

Two hats
Cafe Di Stasio, Cutler & Co, Ezard, Grossi Florentino, Matteo’s, MoVida, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Rosetta, Spice Temple

One hat
Albert St Food & Wine, Bacash, Becco, Bistro Guillaume, Bistro Vue, Brooks, Cecconi’s Flinders Lane, Centonove, Church St Enoteca, Circa, Coda, Cumulus Inc, Da Noi, Dandelion, Donovans, Easy Tiger, Epocha, Estelle Bar & Kitchen, European, Golden Fields, The Grand, Grossi Florentino Grill, Hare & Grace, Huxtable, Il Bacaro, Kenzan, Koots Salle a Manger, Longrain, Maha, Merricote, Moon Under Water, MoVida Aqui, Pei Modern, PM 24, The Point Albert Park, Pure South, Saint Crispin, Sarti, Stokehouse, Taxi Dining Room, Tempura Hajime, Tonka, Vin, Yu-u

Regional Restaurants
Two hats
Lake House, Provenance, Stefano’s, Ten Minutes by Tractor

One hat
A La Grecque, Bella Vedere, Eleonore’s, Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant, Gladioli, Healesville Hotel, Kazuki’s, Montalto, Neilsons, Oscar W’s Wharfside, Paringa Estate, Scorched, Teller, Simone’s Restaurant, Tea Rooms of Yarck, Terminus at Flinders Hotel, The Terrace Restaurant

Stay tuned for the Sydney awards.

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