Australia's culinary elite gathered at The Darling hotel in Sydney last night to celebrate The Australian Hot 50 Restaurant Awards with David Chang's newcomer Momofuku Seiobo taking top honours as Australia's 'hottest' restaurant.
Guests were left in anticipation as it was announced the actual top 50 restaurants would not be named until Saturday (28 July) in a special issue of the The Weekend Australian Magazine.
Instead 15 awards were handed out including Hottest Chef - Andrew McConnell, Hottest design - Neild Avenue and Hottest Dish - a tie between Quay, Sydney (Smoked and confit pig cheek, shiitake, shaved scallop, Jerusalem artichoke, juniper, bay) and Restaurant Amusé, Perth (Egg, mushroom, pine nut, smoke).
The judging panel included The Weekend Australian Magazine’s restaurant critic, John Lethlean, food journalist Necia Wilden and Daily Telegraph restaurant critic Simon Thomsen, as well as contributors in a number of states.
Lethlean said Momufuku Seiobo really was a must-visit experience.
“Momofuku Seiobo embodies everything these awards are about,” Lethlean said.
"Energy, creativity and unpredictability underpinned by the fundamentals of a great restaurant experience – superb produce, precise and sympathetic cooking, proper service, an appreciation of the role of wine in great dining and, of course, proper hospitality."
The winners of The Australian Hot 50 Restaurant Awards 2012 included:
Hottest Restaurant - Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney
Hottest NSW - Momofuku Seiobo
Hottest VIC - Moon Under Water
Hottest SA - Press* Food & Wine
Hottest QLD - Esquire
Hottest TAS - Garagistes
Hottest WA - Restaurant Amusé
Hottest Wine Experience - Tetsuya's, Sydney
Hottest People’s Choice - Hare & Grace, Melbourne
Hottest Value - Press* Food & Wine, Adelaide
Hottest Service - Sixpenny, Sydney
Hottest Design - Neild Avenue, Sydney
Hottest Classic - Café Di Stasio, Melbourne
Hottest Chef - Andrew McConnell
Hottest Dish – TIE Quay, Sydney (Smoked and confit pig cheek, shiitake, shaved scallop, Jerusalem artichoke, juniper, bay) and Restaurant Amusé, Perth (Egg, mushroom, pine nut, smoke)