Hospitality Business Magazine

Auckland’s Best Restaurant Revealed

rsz_metro_roty_2016-1Auckland modern Indian restaurant Cassia has been named the Supreme Winner of this year’s Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year Awards.

Owners Sid and Chand Sahrawat were presented with the award in front of an audience of Auckland’s most successful restaurant owners, chefs and special guests at the annual awards, held this evening at Shed 10 on Auckland’s Queens Wharf.

On top of the Supreme Winner award, Cassia was also named Best Smart Dining Restaurant and was a finalist for Restaurateur of the Year, Best Chef, Best Service, Best Wine List and Best Bar.

It is the first time Cassia has won the Supreme Award, since its entrance to the Top 50 last year with a runner up placing for Best New Restaurant and Best Chef, and inclusion in the Restaurateur of the Year category under Sid Sahrawat’s finalist nomination.

“Cassia stood out from the rest across all the factors we consider when judging,“ says Simon Wilson, Head Judge and Metro editor at large. “They’ve done extremely well to achieve this award.”

Cassia succeeds Depot, which was the Supreme Award winner in 2015. Much-celebrated casual bistro Orphan’s Kitchen came in runner-up for the Supreme Award this year.

The Top 50 finalists, which were announced in March, were considered for six core category awards and 11 additional category awards, as well as the Supreme Winner award.

Among the restaurants that did notably well is new Ponsonby opening Saan, which took out the award for Best New Restaurant and Best New Fitout, was runner up for Best City Fringe Bistro and was also named as a finalist for Restaurateur of the Year and Best Chef.

“It’s fantastic to see newcomers to Auckland’s dining scene making such a strong impression from the moment they open,” says Simon Wilson. “For a first-time inclusion in the awards, this is a tremendous outcome.”

This year’s awards has seen considerable movings and shakings, reflecting the evolving and exciting growth of Auckland’s culinary scene as the city begins to make its mark alongside some of the world’s best dining destinations, while retaining and continuing to develop its very high-quality and distinctively local character.

“Some of the restaurants you’d expect to see on the Top 50 list did not feature this year, while others that haven’t been included before have stepped up,” says Simon. “It’s really a testament to how Auckland’s restaurateurs are recognising the changing dining scene and putting in the effort to make sure their restaurants are on par with the best.”

“We’re also increasingly seeing a shift toward the bistro that combines excellent service and really great cooking with an informal, buzzy vibe,” Simon continues. “It’s an international trend that Auckland is really good at.”

Depot, came away with the award for Best Inner-City Bistro, underlining its firmly established appeal and aptitude for informal excellence, and the restaurant’s Nick Gallagher was judged Peugeot Restaurant Personality of the Year.

Fine dining restaurant Merediths pipped stalwarts The French Café and The Grove to secure the award for Best Fine Dining Restaurant, with head chef Michael Meredith also winning the Restaurateur of the Year category.

Best Destination Restaurant was won by beloved Waiheke Island eatery The Oyster Inn for the first time, while The Engine Room retained its position, for the 11th straight year, as Best Neighbourhood Bistro.

The Top 50 Restaurant of the Year booklet including the full list of winners will be on sale with the May issue of Metro magazine, from tomorrow (Tuesday 12th April 2016).