Vue de monde claims Restaurant of the Year title

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 21st October 2009

Melbourne’s Vue de monde has this week received one of the highest accolades in the Australian restaurant industry by capturing the Restaurant of the Year crown at the 2009 Savour Australia National Awards for Excellence.

The annual awards of industry representative Restaurant & Catering Australia saw Melbourne businesses claim the two top awards, with the Atlantic Group taking out the Caterer of the Year prize.

The annual awards brought together more than 2,500 restaurants and caterers to challenge for 35 highly sought-after awards, culminating with a ceremony in Canberra on Monday night.

The Chair of Judges for the national awards and well-known food writer and critic, Joanna Savill, said the awards confirmed that Australia is a formidable player in the international culinary scene.

“The competition was tighter than ever this year, and in particular the judging was very difficult because so many restaurants in Australia can now be considered of a truly international standard,” she said.

The Savour Australia National Awards for Excellence mark the end of a challenging 12 months for many businesses in the restaurant and catering sector, with the impact of the global financial crisis providing challenging trading conditions.

“The restaurant and catering industry has weathered the financial downturn and, like a good soufflé, is ready to rise,” Ms Savill suggested. “(The awards were) a great display of the industry’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Crowned Restaurant of the Year and best Fine Dining Restaurant, Shannon Bennett’s Vue de monde is a well known hot-spot for celebrities and seasoned foodies. It combines a unique fusion of classical fine dining with brilliant service in a historic location that is truly superb.

“It’s an honour to be recognised as a leader in the industry and it really makes all our hard work worthwhile,” Mr Bennett said. “These awards are important drivers of innovation across the industry.”

Beyond the Atlantic Group and Vue de monde, other major winners were Embrasse in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton for Best New Restaurant and the Hilton Adelaide who received the George Mure Memorial Award for Excellence in Professional Development.

More than 500 specially trained and anonymous judges with a passion for food and wine reviewed 2,500 award finalists through an independent assessment, rating them against standardised evaluation criteria. In all, the winners were split between VIC (14), NSW (11), WA (5), QLD (3) and SA (3).

“The resilience of the restaurant and catering industry is astounding. This has been such a difficult year for so many businesses and last night was a chance for the industry to reflect on its achievement and high standing,” Ms Savill added. “Each year Australians become more and more interested in dining and food. As such, Australia is among the best in the world for culinary experiences, perfectly blending quality and value.”