The top honours at this year’s NSW Restaurant & Catering Australia Awards for Excellence went to Quay, which won Restaurant of the Year for the third consecutive year.

Blond Catering won Sydney Metropolitan Caterer of the Year for the second year in a row.

Over 900 of the state’s best metropolitan and regional operators gathered in Sydney to celebrate the award announcements.

The winners of the major award categories include:

  • Sydney Metropolitan Restaurant of the Year: Quay, The Rocks
  • NSW Regional Restaurant of the Year: Hobarts by Lesley Taylor, New Lambton
  • Sydney Metropolitan Caterer of the Year: Blond Catering, Brickworks Design Studio
  • NSW Regional Caterer of the Year: Estate Tuscany, Pokolbin
  • Sydney Metropolitan Caf of the Year: Little Jean, Double Bay
  • NSW Regional Caf of the Year: Bent on Food, Wingham
  • Sydney Metropolitan Consumer Vote Award: Fish Caf, Balgowlah
  • Northern Consumer Vote Award: Table 1 Espresso, Merewether
  • Southern Consumer Vote Award: Kohli’s Indian, Nowra
  • Lifetime Achiever: Neil Slater
  • Hall of Fame: Serge Dansereau
  • Restaurateur of the Year: Steve Anastasiou

“The Awards for Excellence is the largest consumer-led awards program in Australia. The judging criteria is determined by consumers who rank what is important to them in the dining experience,” said R&CA CEO John Hart.

“Good food, great service and memorable experiences – that’s what consumers want. Being judged by food critics is constructive, but delivering what customers want makes you successful.”

Hart recognised the ongoing achievements of the Fink Group, with Quay winning Restaurant of the Year three consecutive years in a row. The Fink Group’s Bennelong also secured the People, Produce, Place Tourism Restaurant Award.

“Quay is definitely Sydney’s leading lady when it comes to dining. There is a consistency and dedication to food that is admired and respected by industry,” Hart said.

Hart also recognised the achievements of local suburban restaurants and caterers to the dining experience. For the first time this year, R&CA has established the Caf of the Year award in both metropolitan and regional NSW, which was won by Little Jean, Double Bay and Bent of Food, Wingham.

Kazbah, Balmain, has again secured the award for Best Breakfast Restaurant, while Nadia’s Caf, Blacktown, won Best Coffee Shop/Tea House. New catering entrants JuJu, Annandale, won Best Small Caterer while the Catering Project, Sydney, won Best New Caterer.

“Casual dining has always been a part of the Australian way of life but it has seen a resurgence, particularly in the suburbs. It’s timely that we recognise caf operators through their own major award,” Hart said.

Also receiving honours on the night were Hall of Fame recipient Serge Dansereau of Bathers’ Pavilion, and Restaurateur of the Year, Steve Anastasiou of China Doll. Hart said both men have been instrumental in the development of the dining scene in NSW.

Many of tonight’s winners will go on to represent NSW at the National Awards for Excellence to be held in Sydney on 24 October 2016.


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