Good Food Guide 2007 | The Age

Melbourne is fortunate to enjoy absolutely fabulous restaurants as well as The Age Good Food Guide to rate them.

The annual Age Good Food Guide rates the top Melbourne dining establishments with 1, 2 and 3 hats (chef hats of course), Restaurant of the Year, New, Country and Chef of the Year.

2007 Top Melbourne Restaurants

Restauranteurs







Vue De Monde [weblink]
430 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Telephone: (03) 9691-3888
Cuisine: French

Lake House Restaurant [weblink]
4 King Street Daylesford
Telephone: (03) 5348 3329
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Three, One, Two [weblink]
312 Drummond St, Carlton
Telephone: (03) 9347 3312
Cuisine: Modern Australian

MoVida [weblink]
Hosier Lane, Melbourne
Telephone: (03) 9663-3038
Cuisine: Spanish/Portuguese

ezard at adelphi [weblink]
187 Flinders La Melbourne
Telephone: (03) 9639-6811
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Libertine [weblink]
500 Victoria St North Melbourne
Telephone: (03) 9329 5228
Cuisine: French

Precincts | Web Guides | Restaurants by Cuisine | Theatre Restaurants

Drum rolls as Melbourne relishes a worldly view.

AFTER 15 years at the top of the Melbourne restaurant pile, the mighty Flower Drum's crown has slipped.

The Age Good Food Guide for 2007, launched last night, demoted the Chinatown institution from the highest status of three hats to two, part of a blood-letting in which the number of Melbourne's top-ranked restaurants dropped from four to two.

St Kilda's Circa and Richmond's Pearl were also demoted from three to two hats.

Culinary wunderkind Shannon Bennett's Vue de monde was awarded Restaurant of the Year, and was the only one of last year's four top-ranked restaurants to retain three hats. Its status was cemented by an unprecedented score of 19 out of 20.

Jacques Reymond's eponymous Windsor stalwart was elevated to join Vue de monde as Melbourne's only three-hatted restaurants.

"I think this is the first time the guide has given a 19 out of 20," said Necia Wilden, who co-edited the 2007 Guide with John Lethlean. "Vue de monde is such a tremendously exciting restaurant the concept, the menu, the sense of occasion it affords. It dared to defy this trend away from fine dining. It's the glorious exception that proves the rule."

Flower Drum, which has inhabited the upper echelons of the Good Food Guide since it was launched in 1980, was first given the top honour in 1991 and had held it ever since, taking the Restaurant of the Year award four times. The restaurant was sold to long-term staff members in 2003 by original owner Gilbert Lau, who remains as a consultant.

The 2007 Guide praises Flower Drum for its produce and skills in the kitchen but notes that the restaurant had largely abandoned innovation for a "classics only" approach, service had slipped, and the refined air had been sullied by "hordes of casually dressed diners on junkets (treating) the place with less respect than it deserves".

"Standards had been incrementally slipping for the last couple of years to a point where it was no longer the world-class restaurant it used to be," said Wilden.

The reinstated award for Best New Restaurant went to Andrew McConnell's two-hatted Three, One, Two; his work there and as executive chef at Circa also made him Chef of the Year.

Country Restaurant of the Year was Daylesford's Lake House. Proprietor Alla Wolf-Tasker articulated the main theme of the evening when she told the crowd: "Don't be afraid to put your prices up."

Her comments were echoed by outstanding achievement award co-winner Frank van Haandel: "We're world-class, but we don't charge enough all our best staff go to Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong."

Eight restaurants were awarded hats for the first time, including newcomers Longrain, Oyster Little Bourke and Upper House, while Verge, MoMo, Stokehouse and North Melbourne's Court House Hotel went from one hat to two.

Eight restaurants became hatless. Mask of China, Toofey's, La Luna, Syracuse, Mecca, Pure South and the Melbourne Wine Room all lost their single hat, while radii at the Park Hyatt lost two following the departure of chef Anthony Musarra.

The Guide editors introduced two new awards: Dish of the Year, which went to MoVida's cecina that's air-cured beef with truffle foam and poached egg and Best Short Wine List, won by North Melbourne newcomer Libertine.

Source: The Age
Larissa Dubecki
August 29, 2006

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