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Australia’s Top Restaurant 2016 won by Melbourne’s Attica

AtticaJan 94

The Australian Financial Review’s Australia’s Top Restaurants’ Top 100 list has been revealed at The Star Sydney, with Melbourne’s Attica taking the number one spot. Victoria’s Brae, opened in 2012 by chef Dan Hunter, secured the number two spot, coming in ahead of the 2015 number one, Sepia run by Martin Benn and Vicki Wild which took out this year’s third place.


Co-Director of the Awards Terry Durack congratulated Attica on its win: “Ben Shewry has built Attica into a unique and personal experience that celebrates all that Australian dining excellence is about. With its passion for just-picked and wild plants, an intuitive use of native produce, and exceptionally warm, sincere service, it deserves every accolade and award it wins – especially this one.”

Australia’s Top Restaurants presented by Qantas is now in its second year, and remains the only national restaurant awards program of its kind decided solely by peer voting. While the full list of 500 restaurants is compiled by a distinguished Australia-wide panel of Good Food Guide editors, reviewers and industry experts, the Top 100 is decided by the chefs and restaurateurs themselves.

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Durack said the 2016 Top 100 reflects the fact that chefs vote for those who have earned their respect rather than over the more fleeting criteria of fashionable suburb or million dollar fit-out. “You can see by those who made it onto the Top 100, the importance the industry places on pure skill, quality, and consistency,” says Durack. “These are our most creative, polished, original restaurants, driven by chefs obsessed with quality.” Fellow Co-Director of the Awards Jill Dupleix said the 2016 Top 100 is an instant snapshot of the Australian restaurant industry. “The new Top 100 shows that restaurant business models are changing, and the way people dine out is changing,” comments Dupleix. “It reflects significant ongoing trends, as chefs continue to focus on seasonal, locally-grown produce and evolve their use of direct cooking techniques such as wood-fired ovens and charcoal grills. “With restaurants such as Attica, Brae, Quay, Rockpool est 1989, Franklin and Sepia in the top 10 it’s a brilliant moment in time in defining Australian cuisine. The truth is our restaurants are becoming truly and uniquely Australian.”


The top 10 list showcases establishments that are redefining fine dining, including the informal, wood-fired Ester in Chippendale at number five, Peter Gilmore’s buzzy Bennelong at number seven, and new-entry Automata at number nine, all in Sydney. With 21 restaurants new to the Top 100 list, it’s an update for bucket lists across the nation. Notable newbies include the tiny Fleet in Brunswick Heads on the northern NSW coast (46), Igni in Geelong (93), Sydney’s Silvereye (50) and Melbourne’s Tipo 00 (21). Joining The Australian Financial Review’s Top Restaurants awards for a second year is iconic Australian brand and supporter of excellence in Australian dining, Qantas. “We are honoured to support an awards program that recognises the best in Australian dining. We are also exceptionally proud of our own Qantas Chef Neil Perry and the Rockpool Group on their achievements,” says Qantas Group Executive Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth.



A new award was instituted this year for the Top Service Team, an innovation prompted by key industry advisors. “We needed to recognise that front-of-house service plays an enormous part in a great dining experience, as much as we all like to think it’s the food,” says Durack. The inaugural award for exceptional service has been won by Sydney’s Sepia. “Great choice,” says Durack. “Headed by Vicki Wild, Rodney Setter and Benjamin Brown, the team has its own unique culture, bridging the gap between diner and kitchen, and swimming together as one.”

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The Top 500 also voted for Australia’s Top Chef, which this year has been awarded to Dan Hunter of Brae, a sophisticated yet relaxed regional restaurant and rooms in Victoria’s Otways region. “This award means that chefs recognise the unique challenges of growing your own food and following the seasons,” says Dupleix. “I think every chef and restaurateur has dreams of running a place like Brae one day.”


“It’s great to see the top gong going to Victoria this year,” says Durack. “And brilliant to see Tasmania made the top 10, with David Moyle’s Franklin restaurant, a massive shift up from number 34. NSW has also really consolidated its position, with seven restaurants in the top 10.” Special awards go to the highest ranking entry in each state, and awards were received by the top SA restaurant, Africola (47), Restaurant Amusé in Western Australia (49), Gerard’s Bistro in Queensland (64), Franklin in Tasmania (10), Monster Kitchen and Bar in ACT (80), Sepia in New South Wales (3), Attica in Victoria (1), and Little Miss Korea in NT.

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Australia has voted and the 2016 People’s Award has been awarded to Akiba in ACT. The team behind the beloved Sage offers this wonderful fast-paced dining experience highlighting some of the best Asian street food the nation’s capital has to offer. The service, atmosphere and pace of this eatery won it this acclaimed award.


1 Attica
2 Brae, Birregurra
3 Sepia
4 Quay
5 Ester
6 Sixpenny
7 Bennelong
8 Rockpool est. 1989
9 Automata
10 Franklin
11 Mr Wong
12 Bentley Restaurant & Bar
13 The Bridge Room
14 The Town Mouse
15 Cumulus Inc.
16 10 William St
17 Flower Drum
18 Cutler & Co
19 LuMi Bar & Dining
20 Supernormal
21 Tipo 00
22 Tetsuya's
23 Minamishima
24 MoVida, Melbourne
25 Fratelli Paradiso
26 Billy Kwong
27 Biota Dining, Bowral
28 Café Di Stasio
29 LP's Quality Meats
30 Momofuku Seiōbo
31 Porteño
32 Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney
34 Embla
36 Firedoor
37 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
38 Chin Chin
39 est.
41 The Apollo
43 Oscillate Wildly
44 Saint Crispin
45 Guillaume, Sydney
46 Fleet, Brunswick Heads
47 Africola
49 Restaurant Amusé
50 Silvereye
51 Pilu at Freshwater
52 Moon Park
55 Bar Lourinhã
56 Icebergs Dining Room & Bar
57 Ormeggio at the Spit
58 Estelle by Scott Pickett
59 Rockpool Bar & Grill, Melbourne
60 Golden Century
61 Spice Temple, Sydney
62 Sean's Panaroma
63 Cottage Point Inn
64 Gerard's Bistro
65 The European
66 Monopole
67 Long Chim Perth
69 Provenance, Beechworth
70 Coda
71 Lalla Rookh
72 Yellow
73 Luxembourg
74 Wasabi Restaurant & Bar, Noosa Heads
75 Master
76 4Fourteen
78 Esquire
79 Muse Restaurant, Pokolbin
80 Monster Kitchen and Bar
81 Grossi Florentino Upstairs
82 Cho Cho San

Tags: Food


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