A celebration of good food in Victoria
Good Food Guide: Melbourne 2010 - The Age
By Tricia Brown
Celebrating 30 glorious years of food in this anniversary edition, The Age Good Food Guide once again amazes us with the sheer magnitude and dedication of over 60 reviewers to bring us the best of the best.
From big-city eateries to small bistros and cafes, bars and gourmet getaways and new this year, great coffee and fine house-made food, the guide not only celebrates Melbourne as one of the world's great cities for dining out but features more than 500 restaurants from throughout Melbourne, regional Victoria and elsewhere in Australia.
Earning a place in the 2010 Guide is now tougher than ever under the rigorous scoring system that rates each restaurant's performance in several separate categories including value-for-money. Restaurants are given a score out of 20 and the best are awarded chefs' hats - from one to three.
Two new restaurants have gone straight to coveted two-hat status this year: MoMo and Cutler & Co, which also wins the prized award of best new restaurant. Regaining two hat status this year is The Press Club. Newly hatted include Canvas, The Deanery, Embrasse, Gills Diner and The Point.
Notable demotions are Stokehouse, Botanical and Bistro Guillaume, which all drop from two hats to one. European, Oyster Little Bourke and the Healesville Hotel all lose their one-hat status for the 2010 Guide.
Melbourne Restaurant of the Year is Jacques Reymond in Prahran with three hats, a restaurant set apart by its impeccable service and fantastic food. The French chef's right hand man Chris Young taking out the Service Excellence Award.
Best New Restaurant goes to Cutler & Co, the latest offering from Andrew McConnell of Cumulus Inc. McConnell continues to conquer taking out the Chef of the Year as well.
Young Chef of the Year Nicolas Poelaert from the newly hatted Embrasse won over the judges with his passion, imagination and commitment. His unique and often inspired food did the rest.
Dish of the Year, veiled quail, combines quail with a restrained chorizo and pine nut farce and wraps it in a parchment-like layer of vine leaves. Simple or simply exquisite, this dish is from MoMo in Collins Street and master chef Greg Malouf.
In regional Victoria the Merrijig Inn at Port Fairy has been given the gong for Country Restaurant of the Year while Provenance in Beechworth wins Best New Country Restaurant. The Royal Mail Hotel at Dunkeld, last year's winner of the best country restaurant, received the Country Wine List of the Year.
Additional sections on great cafes, wine lists and gourmet getaways reflect the very heart of Melburnians. The much loved regions of Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula are given good coverage along with Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula, Western Victoria, North-West Victoria, Central Victoria, North-East Victoria and Gippsland.
Exciting to see who's new, who's hatted, who's won the awards but sad to see who's gone, who's closed, The Age Good Food Guide is always a celebration of what's happening around Melbourne, Victoria and beyond proving our passion for good food. As the Guide says "But mostly it is about the food, thirty glorious years of it. Seconds anyone?"
The Age Good Food Guide 2010 edited by Janne Apelgren is published by Penguin Books (2009; RRP A$29.95). Subscribers of VisitVineyards.com and Winepros Archive can purchase this book at 12.5% discount from our book partners Seekbooks (postage extra).
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