And the Metro Peugeot Restaurant Of The Year 2017 is...

by Metro / 01 May, 2017
RelatedArticlesModule - roty

View the 2018 Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year winners here.

Judging the restaurant awards gets tougher each year, because Auckland’s dining scene just keeps going from strength to strength.

Then there’s the judging itself – a rigorous three-part, months-long process  involving multiple anonymous visits, complicated spreadsheets, robust debates and the occasional argument. The panel considered the merits of over 100 restaurants before arriving at this year’s Top 50 list. Being named one of Auckland’s Top 50 restaurants is a significant achievement in itself. Every restaurant on the list is also a finalist in the Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year Awards.

Our Supreme Winner is a restaurant that not only came through the rigorous judging process but also came up first for the second year in a row: Cassia, Sid and Chand Sahrawat’s modern Indian bistro. Located on Fort Lane – Auckland’s best impersonation of an arty Melbourne laneway - its unimposing glass door slides open on approach, setting the tone for service that seems to anticipate your every need, conscious and unconscious. Inside, festoon lighting twinkles from a low, concrete ceiling. The intimacy of it all brings the bustle of the open kitchen, with its seemingly infinite team of chefs, to the table — a canny shortcut to an always-vibrant atmosphere.

But it’s the first mouthful of each dish that continues to enthral us. Robust, moreish, Indian flavours are presented with conviction and precision, with less-ordinary cuts of meat and game ingeniously employed. All this from a chef who spends half his working week at his flagship fine-dining restaurant, Sidart, the other half playing with nostalgia here.

There are some other big winners in this year’s awards, including Auckland dining institution Cazador, the runner-up for the Supreme Award. Family owned and operated for 30 years, Cazador also won Best Neighbourhood Bistro and Dariush Lolaiy, son of founding owners and chefs Barbara and Tony Lolaiy, was named Best Chef. Cazador’s recent renaissance has seen it forge ahead of some of the most highly -anticipated restaurant openings in Auckland this year, offering a dining experience that’s steeped in heritage yet utterly relevant.

Restaurateur of the Year was jointly awarded to Damaris and Renee Coulter from Coco’s Cantina. The sisters, who recently launched a website which connects diners with independent restaurants nationwide, are renowned not only for their food and hospitality but also for their community spirit.

In a new category for 2017, Orphans Kitchen won the Food for Good award, which recognises the Top 50 restaurant that goes above and beyond to positively contribute to the natural and cultural environment it operates in. Urban gardening, bee-keeping and chefs volunteering weekly at a local community garden are just the start of Orphans’ commitment to sustainability. The Food for Good award celebrates that.

New restaurants Pasture and Amano had great success in this year’s awards, with Pasture winning Best New Restaurant and Amano taking runner up. In the Best New Fit-out category, Amano was the winner while Pasture was named runner up.

Pasture, Amano and Orphans’ Kitchen are part of a new generation of restaurants of evolving Aucklanders’ understanding of what makes for a quality dining experience, with authenticity and provenance now among the hallmarks.

In this month’s Metro, we highlight the trends and reveal just why Cassia and Cazador are making such an impact. And don’t forget: with each copy of the magazine there’s a handy booklet introducing the entire Top 50.                  

Supreme Winner

Cassia

Chef and owner Sid Sahrawat, Cassia.

Runner-up

Cazador

Finalists

Depot

Ponsonby Road Bistro

The Grove

 

Best Chef

Dariush Lolaiy (Cazador)

Finalists


Samir Allen (Gemmayze St)

Ben Bayly (Baduzzi & The Grove)

Leslie Hottiaux (Apéro)

Jacob Kear (Clooney)

Jo Pearson (Hip Group: Amano, Ortolana & Rosie)

Sid Sahrawat (Cassia & Sidart) 

Makoto Tokuyama (Cocoro)

Ed Verner (Pasture) 

 

Best Fine-Dining Restaurant

The Grove

The Grove. Photo by Simon Young

The Grove. Photo Simon Young

Runner-up

The French Café

Best Smart-Dining Restaurant

Cassia

Cassia. Photo by Josh Griggs

Runner-up (Joint)

Cocoro

Euro

Best Inner-City Bistro

Depot

Depot. Photo by Simon Young

Runner-up

Amano

 

Best City-Fringe Bistro

Ponsonby Road Bistro

Ponsonby Road Bistro. Photo by Ken Downie

Runner-up

Woodpecker Hill 

 

Best Neighbourhood Bistro

Cazador

Cazador. Photo by Laura Forest.

Runner-up

The Engine Room

Restaurateur of the Year

Damaris & Renee Coulter (Coco’s Cantina)

Damaris & Renee Coulter. Photo by Meek Zuiderwyk

Finalists

Michael Meredith (Merediths)

Creghan Molloy-Wright & Simon Wright (The French Café)

Chand & Sid Sahrawat (Cassia & Sidart)

Rebecca Smidt & Dariush Lolaiy (Cazador)

Kyle Street & Jordan Macdonald (Culprit)

Ed & Laura Verner (Pasture) 

 

Restaurant Personality of the Year

 Petaia Unoi (Coco's Cantina)

Finalists

Laura Foolchand (Cassia)

Nick Guet (Merediths)

Michelle Moore (The French Café)

Ken Toyota (Azabu)

 

Food for Good

Orphans Kitchen

Orphan's Kitchen.

Finalists

Cazador

Coco’s Cantina

Hip Group (Amano, Ortolana, Rosie)

Merediths

Pasture

 

Best Service

The French Café

The French Cafe.

Pasta & Cuore. Photo by Caitlin McKone.

Runner-up

O’Connell Street Bistro

Finalists

Amano

Apéro

Molten

Ponsonby Road Bistro 

  

Best New Restaurant

Pasture

Pasture. Photo by Josh Griggs.

Runner-up

Amano

Best New Fit-out

Amano

Amano.

Runner-up

Pasture

Finalists

Augustus Bistro

Azabu

 

Peugeot People’s Choice Award for Auckland’s Favourite Dish

Fry-pan brownie, raspberries, raspberry marshmallows, butterscotch raspberry ripple ice cream (Cibo)

Pan-fry brownie- Cibo.

Finalists

Charcuterie plate (Cazador)

Freshly shucked Te Matuku oysters & Orphans’ sourdough with burnt butter (Orphans Kitchen)

Lon phu nim: soft-shell crab with pickled crab and coconut sauce, dill and coriander (Saan)

Marrakesh: hot pepper lamb, smoked almond tabbouleh, carrot and sumac yoghurt (True Food & Yoga)

Organic chicken cotoletta, lemon, rocket, celery (Ortolana)

Organic free-range pork sausage with walnut mustard & pickles (Apéro)

Tandoori fish, coconut, coriander & pickled cucumber (Cassia)

 

Latest

Vint Cerf: The father of the Internet reflects on what his creation has become
99178 2018-11-16 13:13:08Z Tech

Vint Cerf: The father of the Internet reflects on …

by Peter Griffin

"We were just a bunch of engineers trying to make it work. It didn't even occur to us that anybody would want to wreck it," says Vint Cerf.

Read more
Win a double pass to the NZ premiere screening of Mary Queen of Scots
99165 2018-11-16 10:51:28Z Win

Win a double pass to the NZ premiere screening of …

by The Listener

Starring Academy Award nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart.

Read more
Goodside: The North Shore’s new food precinct
99155 2018-11-16 09:33:23Z Auckland Eats

Goodside: The North Shore’s new food precinct

by Alex Blackwood

North Shore residents will have plenty to choose from at Goodside.

Read more
The death of Radio Live
99147 2018-11-16 06:54:48Z Radio

The death of Radio Live

by Colin Peacock

14 years after launching “the new voice of talk radio”, MediaWorks will silence Radio Live. Mediawatch looks at what could replace it.

Read more
Should Lime scooters stay or should they go?
99103 2018-11-16 00:00:00Z Social issues

Should Lime scooters stay or should they go?

by The Listener

For every safety warning, there’ll be a righteous uproar about the public good regarding the environment. It's about finding the right balance.

Read more
Kiwi drama Vermilion is hamstrung by a frustrating lack of clarity
98992 2018-11-16 00:00:00Z Movies

Kiwi drama Vermilion is hamstrung by a frustrating…

by James Robins

Academic and film-maker Dorthe Scheffmann has had a hand in some of New Zealand cinema’s most beloved movies. So what went wrong?

Read more
Win the 100 Best Books of 2018
99119 2018-11-16 00:00:00Z Win

Win the 100 Best Books of 2018

by The Listener

Each year, the Listener offers one lucky subscriber the chance to win all 100 of our Best Books.

Read more
Full of light and art, Forestry Cafe is south-east Auckland's newest coffee spot
99142 2018-11-15 16:49:34Z Auckland Eats

Full of light and art, Forestry Cafe is south-east…

by Alex Blackwood

New opening Forestry Cafe brings a city vibe to Flat Bush.

Read more