The Australian Financial Review’s (AFR) Australia’s Top Restaurants program has launched for the second year, with the final results announced in May.

The program, determined by the votes of chefs and restaurateurs, was taken out by Sydney fine diner Sepia last year, with chef Martin Benn also being named Top Chef.

This year, more than 100 new entries have been added, forming part of the Top 500 – a list of new restaurants, bars and bistros now available online, and from which the Top 100 will be selected.

Terry Durack, co-director of the awards, said “Adding so many newcomers to the Top 500 is living proof that the Australian dining scene doesn’t stand still for a minute. Victoria wins with the most new entries in 2016, although Western Australia is experiencing a new boom that’s dining, not mining, with 21 out of the 56 Western Australian entries being new to the list.”

This year, the Top 100 list, Australia’s Top Chef Award and the People’s Choice Award (the Australian public can vote for their favourite restaurant from 1 March) will be joined by an inaugural Top Service Team Award.

“All good operators know that the experience of dining has to be about more than the food, and the service team contributes hugely to the financial success of the business,” said Durack.  

The Top 100 list will be announced at an awards ceremony in Sydney on 2 May and published in The AFR on 3 May.

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