Auckland restaurant Sidart has claimed Restaurant of the Year at the Cuisine Good Food Awards on Tuesday night.
The fine-dining Ponsonby establishment owned by chef Sid Sahrawat and known for its Indian cuisine was praised by judges for its "innovative and exhilarating menu" and picked for the coveted 'three hats' - the highest accolades for Kiwi restaurants.
"With the revamp of Sidart last year and a new-look menu, which combines progressive Indian flavours with premium New Zealand ingredients to deliver the very essence of New Zealand on the plate, Sidart has become a restaurant that we can proudly showcase to the rest of the world as Aotearoa's very best," said Cuisine editor and co-director Kelli Brett.
Chef of the Year went to Vaughan Mabee of Central Otago bistro and winery Amisfield while Wellington's Logan Brown received the Cardrona Distillery Best Metropolitan Restaurant award.
Lead assessor Kerry Tyack said the awards provided a "snapshot" of which restaurants are currently at the top of their fields.
"The awards are important to the hospitality industry but equally important to the dining public, and offers a current snapshot of restaurants that are doing a fantastic job this year," said Tyack.
"Just because a restaurant doesn’t make a category win or get a hat this year, it doesn’t mean it’s not a good restaurant - but simply that another restaurant stood out more this time."
The awards are in their 15th year, and this month, the Cuisine Good Food Guide included 108 restaurants. The establishments were split into 'hatted' restaurants as well as a list of "ones to watch".
"Our hat scores needed to be tightened, which has meant that some restaurants that were at one hat level last year did not gain a hat this year," Brett said,
"However, these restaurants are still delivering a great experience and we felt that they should still be recognised. The ones-to-watch section also gives us the opportunity to highlight new restaurants that are showing promise."
The full list of winners:
Cuisine Restaurant of the Year
SIDART – Auckland
Cuisine Chef of the Year
VAUGHAN MABEE – AMISFIELD BISTRO – Central Otago
Cardrona Distillery Best Metropolitan Restaurant
LOGAN BROWN – Wellington
Pāmu Best Regional Restaurant
PACIFICA – Napier
San Pellegrino Best Specialist Restaurant
HIAKAI – Wellington
Epicure Trading Best Casual Dining Restaurant
SHEPHERD – Wellington
Kenwood Restaurant Personality of the Year
PRUE BARTON – MISTER D – Hawke’s Bay
Ōra King Salmon Innovation Award
ED VERNER – PASTURE – Auckland
Best Winery Restaurant
BLACK ESTATE – Waipara
Best Wine Experience
NOBLE ROT – Wellington
Best Drinks List
CHARLEY NOBLE – Wellington
Pead PR Food Legend/Long-Term Player
BOULCOTT STREET BISTRO – Wellington
Estrella Damm One to Watch – Rising Talent
CONOR MERTENS – CHIMERA – Auckland