27 November 2012

South Africa's top restaurants

The winners of the 2012 Eat Out DSTV Food Network Restaurant Awards were announced on Sunday 25 November, with Western Cape restaurants dominating.

The Test Kitchen is the brainchild of superstar chef, Luke Dale-Roberts

I have seen local chefs prepare astonishing, world-class food, and the top restaurants in South Africa have shown tremendous talent, continuing to push the boundaries of creativity, confidence and full-on flavour. - Abigail Donnelly, Eat Out editor / 2012 Eat Out DSTV Food Network Restaurant Awards judge

The long awaited 2012 Eat Out DSTV Food Network Restaurant Awards took place at The Westin Cape Town on Sunday 25 November. These annual awards are a highlight on the local foodie calender and the results came with no major surprises. The Test Kitchen by Luke Dale-Roberts in Woodstock, Cape Town, is the Restaurant of the Year. Chef of the Year is Margot Janse whose restaurant, The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek, was named runner-up to The Test Kitchen.

Restaurants on wine farms in the Stellenbosch area did extremely well in the contest. Jordan Restaurant on the Jordan Wine Farm, Overture on the Hidden Valley Wine Estate, and Rust en Vrede and Terroir on the Kleine Zalze Wine Estate took 3rd, 4th, 5th and 9th positions, respectively. Rust en Vrede also took the Service Excellence Award. The only Johannesburg restaurant in the Top 10, DW Eleven-13 in Dunkeld West, came in 6th.

La Colombe on the Constantia-Uitsig Wine Estate, The Greenhouse in the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Cape Town, and Hartford House on the Summerhill Stud Farm in Mooi River in KwaZulu-Natal completed the Top 10 list.

9th Avenue Bistro, a famed Durban eatery, was named Best Bistro. Cape Town restaurants, Carne SA and Saigon (Gardens), were voted Best Steakhouse and Best Asian Restaurant, respectively. Café Del Sol in Randburg was named Best Italian Restaurant.

Two more wine estate eating venues claimed honours - Fresh at Paul Cluver Wine Estate in Elgin was named the Best Country-Style Restaurant and Green House at Babylonstoren in Klapmuts took the Boschendal Style Award in association with Visi magazine. 

Alicia Wilkinson of the Silwood School of Cookery, which has produced many a chef of world-class standard, received the Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Paarl Media.

'It has been a dazzling year of fun dining,' said Eat Out editor and judge Abigail Donnelly at the awards dinner in Cape Town. 'I have seen local chefs prepare astonishing, world-class food, and the top restaurants in South Africa have shown tremendous talent, continuing to push the boundaries of creativity, confidence and full-on flavour.'