This past week I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Time Out Food Awards, pretested by Time Out and Google, where the very best of the Melbourne foodie scene were honoured for their amazing work.
The awards took place at the George On Collins, whose co-owner and chef Khanh Ong did double duty on the night, performing MC duties as well as providing delicious Vietnamese-style canapés.
Gage Road Brewing Co beers quenched the crowd’s thirst as did the Bisleri Water Hydration Station.
Guests were treated to some amazing foodie delights, delicious cocktails and for a little extra fun … the Royal Doulton Fotobox – for those all-important Instagram GIFs.
Here’s a look at all the winners …
Modern Australian winery restaurant Oakridge took out Restaurant of the Year. Captained
by chefs Jo Barrett and Matt Stone, Oakridge represents the bold new face of winery dining
and was judged by Time Out’s critics to be the most outstanding Melbourne restaurant.
“Jo Barrett and Matt Stone have left their mark on this small winery restaurant and turned it
into bucket-list worthy, destination dining, which is why they have taken out Restaurant of
the Year for 2019,” said Time Out Food & Drink editor, Jess Ho.
The Grossi Family were crowned with the Legend Award this year – deserving winners
whose cult favourite restaurants have shaped the way that Melbourne eats over the last 50
“Had Melbourne never welcomed the Grossi name it would be a lesser city all round,” said Jess Ho.
In a year when restaurants on the city’s rural fringes triumphed, 15-seat Hurstbridge restaurant Greasy Zoe’s took out the Best New Restaurant category. Head chef Zoe Birch, who was among the nominees for Chef of the Year award, was praised for great locavore cooking offering exceptional value.
The Best Fine Dining Restaurant was a hotly contested award and was taken out by Kazuki’s new restaurant in Carlton. A highly evolved fusion of Japanese and French influences, the restaurant was originally opened in Daylesford in 2011 before moving to the big smoke.
Six remarkable chefs were up for Chef of the Year including Oakridge’s Jo Barrett and Matt Stone and Kazuki’s Kazuki Tsuya. The award ultimately went to the brilliantly creative Thi Le for her work at Modern Asian-Australian restaurant Anchovy in Richmond.
At the other end of the scale, Best Cheap Eat was awarded to Mr Lee’s Foods, the no-longer-secret Korean pork restaurant in Ringwood East.
A new Japanese breakfast trend has been turning the Melbourne café scene upside down, best exemplified by Ima Project Café, Time Out’s Best Café for 2019.
Best Casual Dining Restaurant was won by Fitzroy unicorn Napier Quarter, acclaimed as ‘the perfect local’ with A-league food and service.
Time Out partnered with Google for the People’s Choice: Signature Searches award. This award homed in on restaurants with special dishes that create intrigue, mystery and value, and Time Out readers voted for their favourite unique eat worth searching for (#foundongoogle).
The winner was Vegemite Curry Roti at Sunda.
Following the formal part of the evening guests were treated to dancefloor bangers spun by Troy Marc and Studios, and guests received a bag of goodies including Sweet Mickie cookies, cute Google Signature Searches pins, and a copy of the Food Awards issue of Time Out magazine.
Image courtesy of Time Out