The Age Good Food Guide Awards announces 2017 winners and hatted restaurants (Melbourne)

Following the recent wrap-up of winners and new hatted restaurants from the Sydney ceremony, Melbourne’s 37th The Age Good Food Guide Awards has tonight announced the 2017 results as well as the complete list of restaurants that have gained or maintained a chef’s hat.

With 14 now being the lowest a restaurant can score before being entered into the Guide, standards were high for the prestigious annual awards and excitedly Victoria’s regional restaurants have come to dominate this year. Birregurra’s celebrated Brae has emerged as “Restaurant of the Year”, while Geelong’s Igni picked up both “Santa Vittoria Regional Restaurant of the Year” and “Citi Chef of the Year” (from co-owner and chef Aaron Turner), marking the restaurant’s first appearance in the Guide since opening earlier this year. If that’s not enough to reiterate the rise of destination dining, the “People’s Choice Award” has gone to Ezard, which is in Levantine Hill in the gorgeous Yarra Valley. It’s definitely time to start planning those road trips, especially now that the number of regional restaurants awarded two hats (out of a possible three) has now jumped from five to seven.

CBD wine bar Embla has been named as the “Best New Restaurant” for 2017, while the grungy excellence of Heartbreaker has proven enough to win over “Bar of the Year”. Other awards indicative of a fresh new scene for Melbourne include debut category “Cafe of the Year” which has been awarded to the superb Higher Ground – from the Top Paddock and Kettle Black crew – and Best Cheap Eat: Flemington’s excellent Hem 27.

As for the hats: Vue de Monde and Minamishima – last year’s Restaurant of the Year – have moved up, now bearing three each to give the legendary Attica a bit of company. You can see the full list below.

All the awards, hats and top tips for dining over the coming 12 months will be in The Age Good Food Guide 2017, on sale from Tuesday, September 13 for $14.99 with The Age. It can also be ordered online at for $24.99, and for a comprehensive look at all awards across cities there’s also the free to download app.

Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year
Brae (Birregurra)

Citi Chef of the Year
Aaron Turner (Igni, Geelong)

Best New Restaurant

Bar of the Year

Santa Vittoria Regional Restaurant of the Year
Igni (Geelong)

Cafe of the Year
Higher Ground

Vittoria Coffee Legend
Jean-Paul Prunetti and Geraud Fabre (France-Soir)

Citi Service Excellence
Caterina Borsato (Caterina’s Cucina e Bar)

Young Chef of the Year
Jarrod Di Blasi (Ezard)

Food For Good Award
StreetSmart Australia

Donlevy Fitzpatrick Award (honouring restaurant-quality food in a bar setting)
Bar Liberty

Best Cheap Eat
Hem 27

Champagne Taittinger Sommelier of the Year
Jordan Marr (Oter)

Wine List of the Year

Regional Wine List of the Year
Provenance (Beechworth)

People’s Choice Award
Ezard @ Levantine Hill (Coldstream)

Hatted restaurants

Melbourne & suburbs

Three hats
Attica (Ripponlea), Minamishima (Richmond), Vue de Monde (Melbourne)

Two hats
Circa (St Kilda), Cutler & Co (Fitzroy), Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Southbank), Estelle by Scott Pickett (Northcote), Ezard (Melbourne), Flower Drum (Melbourne), Grossi Florentino Upstairs (Melbourne), Lume (South Melbourne), Matteo’s (Fitzroy North), The Press Club (Melbourne), Rockpool Bar & Grill (Southbank), Saint Crispin (Collingwood), Spice Temple (Southbank), Woodland House (Prahran)

One hat
Amaru (Armadale), Anchovy (Richmond), Bacash (South Yarra), Bar Lourinha (Melbourne), Bistro Guillaume (Southbank), Cafe Di Stasio (St Kilda), Cecconi’s Flinders Lane (Melbourne), Centonove (Kew), Coda (Melbourne), Cumulus Inc. (Melbourne), Dandelion (Elwood), Donovans (St Kilda), Easy Tiger Smith St (Collingwood), Elyros (Camberwell), Embla (Melbourne), Epocha (Carlton), European (Melbourne), French Saloon (Melbourne), The Grand (Richmond), Highline at the Railway Hotel (Windsor), Ides (Collingwood), Il Bacaro (Melbourne), Kappo (Melbourne), Lee Ho Fook (Melbourne), Longrain (Melbourne), Maha (Melbourne), Marion (Fitzroy), Merricote (Melbourne), Mister Jennings (Richmond), MoVida (Melbourne), Noir (Richmond), Nora (Carlton), O.My (Beaconsfield), Oter (Melbourne), Pei Modern (Melbourne), The Point Albert Park (Albert Park), Rosetta (Southbank), Sarti (Melbourne), Supernormal (Melbourne), Tipo 00 (Melbourne), Tonka (Melbourne), The Town Mouse (Carlton), Union Dining (Melbourne)

Regional VIC

Three hats
Brae (Birregurra)

Two hats
Fen (Port Fairy), Igni (Geelong), Lake House (Daylesford), Provenance (Beechworth), Royal Mail Hotel (Dunkeld), Stefano’s (Mildura), Ten Minutes by Tractor (Main Ridge)

One hat
A La Grecque (Aireys Inlet), Catfish (Ballarat), Eleonore’s (Yering), Ezard @ Levantine Hill (Coldstream), Gladioli (Inverleigh), The Good Table (Castlemaine), Healesville Hotel (Healesville), Kazuki’s (Daylesford), Masons of Bendigo (Bendigo), Montalto (Red Hill South), Paringa Estate (Red Hill South), Patricia’s Table (Milawa), Pickled Pig (Warrnambool), Port Phillip Estate (Red Hill South), Public Inn (Castlemaine), Simones (Bright), Source Dining (Kyneton), Tani Eat & Drink (Bright), Terrace Restaurant (Wahgunyah), Tulip (Geelong).

For more information on all winners head to

Image|Source: Minamishima|


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.