It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Food Awards season, when we get to crown the best of the best in this city of incredible dining powered by some of the best cheffing talent in the known ’verse.
It’s also an excuse for a big ole’ party, which is why over 250 packed out the original Porteño site for a celebration of Sydney’s restaurants, from the cheapest of snacks to the fanciest fine dining. The night began with Champagne from Lanson, followed by a food and beer pairing care of Beer the Beautiful Truth and the Porteño kitchen.
There was the famous Porteño chorizo, paired with White Rabbit Dark Ale; smoked chicken wings with adobo sauce and arepas with queso fresco paired with the Kirin Megumi; and pumpkin and feta empanadas, vitello tonnato finger sandwiches, corn and saffron arancini, and slow-cooked beef with chimichurri matched to the James Squire 150 Lashes Pale Ale. Southern Comfort brought summer vibes to the evening, while Alpha Box and Dice supplied the wine times.
Mastercard proved to everyone that there’s a very good business case to be made by dropping minimum spends with their video, as well as presenting two awards – People’s Choice: Best Bakery, which went to Bake Bar, and People’s Choice: Best Fast Food, which went to BL Burgers.
The room was packed with head chefs, hot talent, industry legends and a whole lot of people who truly love dining out in Sydney. Everyone was there to see who would take home the award for Best Casual Dining, Chef of the Year, and Restaurant of the Year. They were curious as to the winners of the Cheap Eat, Drinks Service, Fine Dining and Café category. And thanks to a hospitality scene that has the kind of momentum you expect from a bullet train, we had to add a new category for Best New Restaurant just to fit in all the amazing venues that have opened their doors in the last 12 months.
Plus there is always the will of the public, who this year voted for Porteño to take home the coveted People’s Choice Award. Even with a change of venue, Sydney can’t get enough Argentine dining.
The crowd went double wild for Ester, which was crowned Time Out’s Restaurant of the Year for 2017, reprising its victory from 2014. Danielle Alvarez from Fred’s took home Chef of the Year, and as for who to watch next, the Hot Talent winner was Alanna Sapwell from Saint Peter.
Best New Restaurant went to mod-Korean diner Paper Bird in Potts Point; Best Casual Diner went to spicy-smoky Long Chim, who have reignited Sydney’s Thai-food love affair; and the Best Degustation was awarded to Momofuku Seiobo, who make sitting and eating for three hours feel like a party.
Everyone’s favourite late-night Cantonese palace, Golden Century, took home this year’s Legend Award.
All the winners walked away with trophies and the glory that comes with a Time Out Food Award. Following the formal part of the evening it was party time with dancefloor bangers spun by DJ Flex Mami.
The celebrations would not have been possible without our beautiful venue, Porteño, and the support of Mastercard, Lanson Champagne, Beer the Beautiful Truth, Alpha Box and Dice Wines, and Southern Comfort.
Reviews of all our winners are published on the TIme Out website and you can also purchase a copy of our Food Awards issue, on sale this Thursday September 28, and start ticking these award-winning venues off your hit list.