Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants 2015

Restaurant of the Year

The top 10 restaurants in South Africa were announced at the Eat Out Mercedez-Benz Restaurant Awards on Sunday. As usual, most of the restaurants (8) are located in the Western Cape. Exciting to see La Colombe at number 2, I’ve been hearing good reports only since it moved to its new location at Silvermist. Also great to see Waterkloof restaurant finally crack the top 10, it’s a superb experience and I’m surprised it has taken this long to be properly recognised.

Other than that, no big surprises.

Here are the Top 10:

  1. The Test Kitchen
  2. La Colombe
  3. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français
  4. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort
  5. Five Hundred at The Saxon (Johannesburg)
  6. The Restaurant at Waterkloof
  7. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Pretoria)
  8. Terroir
  9. The Pot Luck Club
  10. Jordan Restaurant

The top 10 were selected from 20 nominees (see that list here) by Eat Out Editor and Chief Judge Abigail Donnelly, Jackie Cameron, the award-winning former chef at Hartford House and owner of the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine; Benny Masekwameng, MasterChef SA judge and professional chef; and Siba Mtongana, award-winning food writer and celebrity TV chef. Read about the criteria they used to evaluate the restaurants here.

Additional awards were also given to honour specific achievements:

Eat Out S.Pellegrino Chef of the Year : Scot Kirton (La Colombe)
Service Excellence Award : The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français
Nederburg Rising Star : Carmen Muller of The Tasting Centre at Rupert & Rothschild
Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award (in association with Novus Holdings) : Liz McGrath (posthumously)
Boschendal Style Award: Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort
Woolworths TASTE Eat Out Bursary : Charlton de Ruiter

But there was one award missing, which nobody seemed to notice. I was pleased to see the Woolworths Sustainability Award listed as a new award for 2015, and I was very interested to see which restaurant would win it. But it was not announced and no mention of why not. So I emailed Eat Out and this was their response:

Thanks for your email. Eat Out recognizes both the importance, and responsibility of an award like this and after taking on board consumer and industry feedback, Eat Out have decided to only launch the award in 2016.

Between now and then, Eat Out will be working very hard with credible players to ensure that the award is truly representative of sustainability in the restaurant business in SA, which will include a relook at the criteria and judging process. Woolworths has kindly offered to sponsor the Award in 2016 but will not be involved in either the criteria or judging.

I’m glad they are taking it so seriously, just wondering why they didn’t do that in the first place…

Find more details at the Eat Out website.

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