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Best restaurants named in Metro Corbans Awards

Best restaurants named in Metro Corbans Awards

The French Café was named Metro Corbans Restaurant of the Year for the second year running in a ceremony at The Auckland Fishmarket this afternoon.

“No other Auckland restaurant gives the same sense of locking into the fine tradition of labour-of-love restaurants, paying attention to every facet, from the crafted food to the menu typography,” says Nicola Legat, Editor of Metro magazine, of the judges’ decision.

“Where other places dropped the ball in one way or another, The French Café kept it in the air with grace and skill.”

Unlike other awards, restaurants cannot enter or be nominated for the Metro Corbans Restaurant of the Year. A panel selects the restaurants to be included in each category and through multiple visits the contending restaurants are slowly eliminated until a category winner is agreed. All category winners are then eligible for the supreme award.

“To be honest, it was fairly difficult to think about facing another plate of food by the time we’d finished our judging,” says Ms Legat. “The judging team visited more than 70 restaurants up to three times to select the winners. The hallmark of a robust restaurant review is testing for consistent performance so multiple visits are critical. Metro is proud to be the only restaurant reviewer providing this level of critique.

We invest this much in our general reviewing and in these awards because restaurants make a huge contribution to the Auckland lifestyle. In many cases a good restaurant setting up somewhere has even driven the renaissance of whole local shopping precincts.”

“The Supreme Award winner had to consistently knock our socks off and take us out of the everyday and transport us with its entire approach, from the tableware to the pace of service. The French Café did this every time we visited,” says Ms Legat.

The 2005 category winners are:

Best New Restaurant (opened in the last six months) – Molten, Mt Eden

Best Fine Dining – The French Café (also category winner in 2004)

Best Local Restaurant – The Maple Room, Benson Road Village

Best Chinese – Sunshine, Viaduct Harbour

Best Seafood – Hammerheads,Okahu Bay

Best Up-market Bistro – Euro, Princes Wharf

Best Japanese – Ariake, City (also category winner in 2004)

Best Italian – Aquamatta, City

Best Service – Joint winners: Euro (Best Overall) and Jeremy Turner of Cibo, (Best Maitre d’)

Best Room – Ottos

Best Dessert – O’Connell Street Bistro’s panna cotta

“Metro and Corbans congratulate the chefs, staff and owners of all of the winning restaurants,” says Ms Legat.

Full comments on the winning restaurants are included in the April issue of Metro. The magazine, on sale 28 March, also includes a separate 52-page restaurant guide which has reviews of the 50 best restaurants to emerge from the judging process.


Metro and Auckland dining

Metro is the pioneer of Auckland restaurant reviewing, independently reviewing the city’s restaurants since 1981. We review without fear or favour but we also like to be constructive, recognising that restaurants and cafés are a vital part of what makes living in this city great.

Metro’s regular coverage of Auckland gastronomy includes:

In each issue the Epicure section runs two full-length restaurant reviews (based on two visits), Metro Chowhound, in which we visit a range of restaurants, Kitchen Whizz, in which our food editor Laurie Black shows you where to find interesting and novel produce and how to cook it at home; plus our pick of the town’s best bars and cocktails and our wine column.

The Best Neighbourhood Café Awards run each November. Awards are given to the top cafes across a comprehensive range of Auckland suburbs, from Papakura to Albany, Howick to Henderson.

Each December Metro publishes Where to Eat Cheap, profiling 100 restaurants where two people can eat for under $60.

In 2004 Metro was judged best magazine at both the 31st annual Qantas Media Awards and the Magazine Publishers’ Association Awards.

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