Recently, Metro handed out their coveted awards at the annual ceremony celebrating the best in hospitality around the city. For many, it's become a bit of a bible in terms of where you should really be spending your entertainment budget. Here’s all you need to know about 2015's recipients.
Best Restaurant Depot Oyster Bar and Eatery yet again took out top prize. After winning two years ago only to be pipped by Masu last year for the infamous gong, Al Brown and the depot team have stuck to their guns proving this Federal Street beauty to be more than just a fad. Consistent performance and a stable brand image are only small facets of Depots incredible expertise – the restaurant that in my opinion shook the Auckland hospitality industry to its core.
Auckland’s Favourite Dish – Peoples Choice Pork buns are f***ing delicious, so it's no surprise that Blue Breeze Inn took out the people's choice for their stunning pork buns. This is the thing Blue Breeze Inn does best: succulent pork meets soft bun and tantalisingly smooth sauces and dressings with all the usual suspects. Hats off to them.
Fine Dining Yet again, no surprises here. The French Café, still without a Michelin star, voted among the world's top five by travellers on TripAdvisor, this really is the best fine dining you will find in Auckland. Chased closely by runners-up Sidart, The French Café has consistently performed to its utmost; impeccable service matches the stunningly presented and beautifully tasting food - no doubt because it was also awarded with best service, and head chef Simon Wright won the prize for best chef.
Notable favourites Ima won best shared-table for its amazing atmosphere, Ortolana was voted best all-day restaurant, and Odettes won best room for its picture perfect decoration. Woodpecker Hill was voted best new restaurant, backed by restauranteurs of the year Che Barrington and Mark Wallbank, the team behind Blue Breeze and Moochowchow.
Notable nominations to the awards were Café Hanoi, and The Fed. Surprisingly, Ostro didn’t win much despite its setting, and neither did Masu. I also had hoped to see at least a nomination for Orphans Kitchen for best drinks service, because their wine list is incredible.
Final word All said, I feel many notable restaurants miss out on the awards for not fitting the “Top 50 style” that Metro assess, which makes me slightly reluctant to see this as Auckland's food 'bible'. Stalwarts of Auckland's most established favourites would be upset that their regulars didn’t feature, but the top 50 is often very steady. Year upon year, the same names pop up unless there’s a new kid (making the right noises) on the block.
Nonetheless, I'm extremely happy that there's a force in the scene shedding light on local gastronomical talent. I’m also personally glad (Ed: and likely a little vindicated) my favourite restaurant was picked as the Supreme Winner. Bravo Depot, bravo.