2018 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards

Hold on to your (chef) hats!  The legendary Test Kitchen (Woodstock) was knocked off the Eat Out Awards throne; after 6 consecutive years of taking the prestigious place as the country’s top eatery, making way for the enigmatic  Chef Gregory Czarnecki and his brigade. 

Here’s the list of winners and special awards for the 2018 Eat Out Awards.

The Top 10 restaurants

1. The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West)

2. The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)

3. La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)

4. Wolfgat (Paternoster, West Coast)

5. La Petite Colombe (Franschhoek)

6. Greenhouse at Cellars-Hohenort (Constantia, Cape Town)

7. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Elandsfontein, Pretoria)

8. Camphors at Vergelegen (Somerset West)

9. Jardine Restaurant (Stellenbosch)

10. Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town)

They also honoured numbers 11 to 20:

11. Fermier Restaurant (Die Wilgers, Pretoria)

12. Jordan Restaurant (Stellenbosch)

13. Foliage (Franschhoek)

14. Le Coin Français (Franschhoek)

15. The Chefs’ Table (Umhlanga, Durban)

16. Chefs Warehouse at Maison (Franschhoek)

17. La Tête (City Bowl, Cape Town)

18. Overture (Stellenbosch)

19. The Shortmarket Club (City Bowl, Cape Town)

20. The Pot Luck Club (Woodstock, Cape Town)

In addition to the announcement of the Top 10, stellar restaurants and individuals on the South African scene also received special awards. They are:

Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year: Kobus van der Merwe, Wolfgat(Paternoster)

Eat Out Diners Club Award for Service Excellence: The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)

Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the YearJanse & Co (Gardens, Cape Town)

Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef Award: shared by Chris Erasmus, Foliage(Franschhoek) and Ivor Jones, Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town)

Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star: Candice Philip, Grei (Sandhurst, Johannesburg)

Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award: The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal(Franschhoek)

Eat Out VISI Style AwardSaint Restaurant (Sandton, Johannesburg)

Eat Out Wine Service Award: Moses Magwaza, Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient(Elandsfontein, Pretoria)

Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service: Germain Lehodey

Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award: Abigail Donnelly

What happens “behind the scenes”?

The winners of the awards are chosen by a team of experts who remain anonymous throughout the judging process. The panel of judges is convened by Margot Janse.

Restaurants do not elect to be judged for the Top 10 restaurants.

With input from the Eat Out community, the judges draw up a list of candidates for nomination. Each restaurant has to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The establishment must have been open with the same highest-ranking chef since November 2017. Changes in décor, closure for winter or other breaks, and staffing changes, other than of the highest-ranking chef, over this time period do not disqualify a restaurant.
  • Consistency and excellence must shine through every aspect of the experience.
  • The owners and chef should demonstrate total passion for the business.
  • They should also be dedicated to uplifting the industry.
  • The sourcing of quality produce should be a priority.

The judges dine at each nominated restaurant and score them on the criteria below. Finally, the scorecards are audited and the winners calculated.

The full scorecard for 2018 is below:

Food (/80)
– Menu composition: Choice, cooking techniques, variety of ingredients, dietary requirements. (/12)
– Ethical awareness: Sourcing of meat, seafood, dairy, eggs and other produce. (/5)
– Food presentation: Visual appeal, fits description, use of plate, garnishes. (/20)
– Food taste: Execution of dish, balance of flavours and textures. (/30)
– Price value: What’s delivered on the plate relative to the price of the dish. Value for money. (/5)
– Wine choice: How many are offered, wine and food pairing, other beverages offered in pairing, knowledge of service staff, value for money. (/8)

Service (/15)
Reservations process, arrival, attitude of staff, knowledge of menu and restaurant, specials, wine matching, dietary requirements, extra mile, billing.

Ambience (/5)
Comfort level, atmosphere, clean linen, cutlery, music, bathroom.

TOTAL (/100)

As the food score is paramount, counting for 80% of the total score, in the instance of two restaurants having precisely the same overall score and therefore in a tie, the average food score of each restaurant will be used to break the tie.

Follow @Eat_Out on Twitter and search #EatOutAwards for all the awards excitement. Visit Eat Out’s Instagram page @eatoutguide and Facebook page EatOutMag for photographs of the awards celebration.

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