Good Food Guide 2013 Winners

The annual gongs for The Age’s Good Food Guide for 2013 were awarded tonight at a champagne fuelled ceremony that looked very glamorous from the vantage point of my Twitter stream.  Since the Michelin guide doesn’t cover Australia a hat in the Good Food Guide is as close as a restaurant can get to the Michelin star system.  

Mandarin dessert at Provenance in Beechworth – Best Regional Restaurant and Best Chef at the Good Food Guide

Just like Michelin, the Good Food Guide has its failings.  It would be good to see some cheaper restaurants in the upper echelons of what constitutes the best dining in the state, after all if the Michelin Guide can give $2 dumpling house Tim Ho Wan a Michelin star then surely you don’t necessarily need white tablecloths or lofty views to get three hats from the Good Food Guide.  While there are an awfully lot of hatted restaurants I think there are still a few major omissions – in particular I would love to have seen The Commoner get the recognition it deserves.  But criticism is always subjective and if the Good Food Guide can get more bums on seats in restaurants then it has to be a good thing.

Here’s a complete list of the winners linked through to my reviews where applicable.  When I look at the places I have been to, the majority are single hatted betraying my preference for more casual (cheaper) dining.  That said, I really need to get onto some of those three hat restaurants.  I have happy memories of meals at The Royal Mail and Vue de Monde but sadly both were PB (pre blog!).  Better start saving…

Coda – awarded One Hat and Best Wine List in the Good Food Guide

Restaurant of the year: Vue de Monde.
Regional restaurant of the year and chef of the year:  Michael Ryan at Provenance in Beechworth.
Best new restaurant: Pei Modern.
Wine list of the year: Coda.

Three Hats
Royal Mail Hotel
Vue De Monde
Jacques Reymond

Two Hats
Flower Drum
Cafe Di Stasio
Cutler and Co
10 Minutes by Tractor
Flower Drum
Lake House
The Press Club
Rockpool Bar and Grill
Tea Rooms of Yarck

One Hat* 
Albert St Food and Wine
Easy Tiger
Bistro Guillaume
Koots Salle e Manger
Golden Fields
Pei Modern
Moon Under Water
Grossi Florentino
The Point Albert Park
The Estelle
Gill’s Diner
Bistro Vue
Cecconi’s Cantina
Church St Enoteca
Cumulus Inc
Easy Tiger
The Grand
Grossi Florentino
Il Bacaro
The Italian
Koots Salle a Manger
Moon Under Water
MoVida Aqui
Pei Modern
The Point Albert Park
Spice Temple
Steer Bar & Grill
Tempura Hajime
Town Hall Hotel
A la Grecque
Annie Smithers’ Bistrot
Bella Vedere
Chris’s Restaurant
La Petanque
The Long Table
The River Grill
Terminus at Flinders Hotel
Villa Gusto.

So what are your thoughts? Who missed out and who should have got the chop?   


  1. Really? Easy Tiger? Gill’s Diner? Not saying that they are not good, but they deserve one hat? Surely not!

    And mmm isn’t Pearl gone?

    The Point? Bahhh. Granted I haven’t tried them for two years but that’s because I have bad experiences every time!

    1. Pearl was my mistake – now omitted from the list. Yes there do seem to be an awful lot of one hats. It’s almost a case of who hasn’t got one.

  2. I know opinions are like AHs, everybody has 5 or 6 of them : )

    But seriously having been a Melburnian for around 20 odd years, I have gotten a bit tired of the whole rating system sigh. It basically boils down to these:

    – Anything Stephen Downes recommended, is going to be shot to death. Just because it is from a rival paper. Talk about fairness?

    – GFG knows jack all about Japanese food, especially traditional Japanese food. May be they should hire someone who has eaten in Japan before and knows Japanese, perhaps Melbourne Gastronome. They seem to know more about exotic Cantonese or Sichuan food though.

    – Movida original, Movida Next Door, Movida Aqui, & all the other Movidas nowadays. All represent different styles of Spanish cuisines. Next Door is down to earth and more seafood based. Aqui is traditional as well but less tapas oriented. Yet, GFG decides to once again award the original Movida bar the highest rating again, just because it is the most exotic and trend setting, though not necessarily authentic enough. Anada is not that bad in comparison at all.

    – Cafe di Stasio > Grossi Florentino. Or Il Bacaro? To me personally, Carlton Espresso and 400 Gradi, or Enoteca Sileno are more truer Italian than Mr. Stasio. I really really sincerely hope, that in the future, The Good Food Guide judge panelists can really go out there to search for an authentic Tagliatelle Bolognese, a true Roman Carbonara with Guanciale Egg Yolk and Pecorino Romano & Pepper.

    – Bamboo House is possibly Michelin 1 Star quality compared to the best I have had in Hong Kong or China, if not by food varieties, at least by execution.

    The biggest difference between the Michelin Guides vs Australian Good Food Guides, is that the former at least might just hand out stars too loosely even if it might be too generous. The GFG just seems to become lost in the whole picture, perhaps too fixated with what it thinks are the trendiest food in town. How many V.P.N. spec pizzerie are there in Aust anyway? Last counting, 3 at most. I have been to 2 of them a numerous times, when will them become being rewarded as such? (Not only talking about theories, but they truly tasted good just like in Naples!)

    1. HK – Thanks so much for this really insightful comment. I agree with you about Japanese food it seems to be a major omission from the guide and interesting insight about the Movida restaurants. If anything looking at the full list I think there are just too many restaurants which dilutes the impact of the guide. Great to get your international perspective.

  3. Great overview, but there are some missing which I can’t find… Eg- il bacaro and Sarti won a hat- 40 city 1 hatters but this list doesn’t reflect all of them. Big reduction in 2 hatters. Will be a good read.

    1. That one slipped off somehow – now added

    1. You will have to come and visit Andi

  4. It would be pretty interesting to run a food award in Victoria around restaurants that have never had a hat, if only to fill those holes in the shape of Asia and Africa.

    1. Yes no Vietnamese food on there apart from Dandelion which is a “fusion” take on Vietnamese and as you say Africa is ignored altogether.

  5. What a great round up / summary – this is handy to have to refer back to 🙂

  6. Thanks Gourmet Chick for your personal take, and your useful list, on the great, the good and the hatted. For the benefit of our own foodie friends we’ve linked to this post on Facebook page.

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