Hits & a few misses – Guide Season 2011


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Well it’s that time of the year again – little more than 4 hours had passed on release day until we had The Age Good Food Guide 2011 in our hands.

Here’s our quick take on the hits, and the misses, of the 2011 guide.

Hits

Vin Cellar

This year, they received their first hat. We predicted they were on this path earlier this year when we shared our experience of one of our favorite restaurants.

Jacques Reymond

For remaining the number one ranked restaurant in Melbourne. It’s a great testament to the family-run business, even after losing their highly regarded maitre’d.

Eleonore’s at Chateau Yering

For getting closer to it’s deserved ranking of 2 hats. The dining room is still amazing, the service is still great, and the food, although quite different from it’s Gary Cooper heyday, is wonderful.

Misses

The Bund

Their dumplings alone should be enough reason for them to get into the guide. In our opinion, they beat Hu Tong hands down, and all of the food we have had their has been supreme. I think it’s worth about 13/20, in good food guide terms.

Colonel Tan’s

No mention of Colonel Tan’s, who serve up some of the best Thai food in Melbourne. Their exclusion is exceptionally strange considering The Age themselves gave it a glimmering review in January this year

The Diner’s Choice Award

This should have been named “The People who have an iPhone and Bought the App Award”. Seriously, you can’t have a Diner’s Choice award and limit the people who are allowed to rate restaurants to people who buy an application.

There is also no explanation of how many people out of the “thousands” who bought the application actually voted, and the way I read their article, it’s only based on the 5 star rankings and not the total combined score. The thing with statistics, I guess, is that you can choose to interpret them however you like.

Bamboo House

No mention that, after over 20 years of ownership and wonderful floor service, Robert Wong and Alex Tseng sold their business and have left The House. It won’t be the same without you, Robert!

Missed Upcoming Openings

  • Steer Bar and Grill, South Yarra, which opens today and is headed by ex The Botanical chef Stacy Thompson
  • Dynasty, 206 Bourke Street Melbourne, a Chinese fine diner arriving from Shanghai
  • Opulent, 206 Bourke Street Melbourne, a “high end Japanese restaurant”

Missed Closures

  • Half Moon in Brighton
  • Sud 2, South Yarra
  • Les Boucheries Parisiennes, South Yarra
  • The Botanical – well, maybe this can be considered a re-opening?

All in all, not a bad effort from the team at The Age Good Food Guide this year – at least they didn’t have the massive oversights that Gourmet Traveller did (I don’t know what country Jacques Reymond wouldn’t be 3 Michelin starred, let alone only receive 2 GT stars). GT also failed to include Church St Enoteca in their book, yet they included Bond Street Cafe & Wine Bar.

I still wish they would award more than 8 points / 20 on food scores though.


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