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Judging underway for Restaurant of the Year

Judging underway for Metro Corbans Restaurant of the Year

Judging of the 2005 Metro Corbans Restaurant of the Year Awards is underway as Metro magazine prepares to announce the winners on 23 March.

The judging panel for this year’s Awards includes Metro’s regular restaurant reviewers as well as food writers, chefs and professional foodies. As in other years, the identity of the 2005 judges is being closely guarded so that all restaurants can be visited anonymously so that results reflect the average diner’s experience.

Unlike other awards, restaurants cannot enter or be nominated for the Metro Corbans Restaurant of the Year. A panel selects up to twenty restaurants to be included in each category, with all category winners eligible for the supreme award.

The categories for 2005 are Best Fine Dining, Upmarket Bistro, Seafood, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Thai restaurants, Best New Restaurant and Serious Neighbourhood Restaurant. Awards will also be presented for Best Service, Dessert, Wine List and Best Room.

Every restaurant in each category will be visited once, before around half of the contenders are eliminated. The remaining restaurants are all then re-visited, after which a final three for that category are selected. The final three are then visited again before the category winner is decided.

“The Metro Corbans Awards offer a depth of judging not offered by other restaurant awards,” says Nicola Legat, Editor of Metro magazine. “All the restaurants are visited anonymously and the winners will be visited three times so that every detail of their operation can be checked.”

“No other New Zealand restaurant awards go to such lengths to assess all the details that go into creating the finest restaurants in their class. The three stage judging process means that each category winner has demonstrated that it delivers a consistently outstanding service,” she says.

Judging will take place over an intense three-week period, when the quality of each restaurant’s food and wine list, service and dining environment will be scrutinised by the judging team. Judges are also on the look-out for the X-factor that makes a dining experience memorable.

Former supreme winners of the Metro Corbans Restaurant of the Year include The French Café (2004) and Otto’s (2003).

“Corbans and Metro are both pioneers in their respective fields. Corbans, with its history as a leading New Zealand winemaker since 1902; and Metro, with over 23 years experience in restaurant reviewing,” says Kate Mathias Brand Manager, Allied Domecq Wines (NZ) Limited. “Corbans is delighted to be involved with Metro in these prestigious restaurant awards.”

Further information about the Awards is available at

The winners will be announced at an Awards event at The Auckland Fishmarket on 23 March. Full details of the winning restaurants will be published in the April issue of Metro, on sale March 28.

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