Shaping their own culture of excellence across the whole of Australia, an impressive number of Greek or Greek-owned restaurants have been voted amongst the best 500 restaurants in Australia, according to the 2017 Australia’s Top Restaurants Awards, compiled by The Australian Financial Review and presented by Qantas last week.
As per the AFR’s official announcement, firstly an expert team of Good Food Guide editors compiles a list of the top 500 restaurants in Australia. Then each restaurant votes for their peers on the list, resulting in the annual ranking of Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants, which will be announced publically later in the year.
Interestingly, whilst last year no Greek restaurant was nominated from the capital territory ACT, this year the recently established Greek restaurant within the Hellenic Club made the cut.
With hundreds of new entries from all over the country, this year’s competition was tough. Nevertheless, in consultation with a distinguished Australia-wide panel of Good Food Guide editors, reviewers, and industry experts, Qantas and AFR shortlisted those restaurants that displayed a high level of quality and consistency across the whole dining experience; ranging from the fresh produce on their seasonal menus to the selection of their wines and drink beverages.
According to the AFR announcement, the renowned food and restaurant writers Terry Durack and Jill Dupleix return as 2017 Australia’s Top Restaurants Awards directors to put together the prestigious list covering every level of dining.
But that’s not all for the Greek restaurants that have made the cut. They will now be asked to compete against some iconic and innovative venues Australia-wide for their ability to consistently deliver world class standards across every aspect. Those successful will be included in the list of Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants, which will be announced on Monday 19 June at a gala awards ceremony in Sydney showcasing the very best of Australia on a world stage, and then published in The Australian Financial Review on Tuesday 20 June.
A La Grecque and Ipsos Restaurant
“We have been in the restaurant business since 1976 and the Greek influence on our menus is strong and apparent but with a modern twist; incorporating fresh seasonal produce from Australia with imported wines from Greece. You have to adjust and move with the times incorporating the best from both cultures,” says Pam Talimanidis who, together with husband Kosta and sons Dominic and Alex, owns two of the winning restaurants, A La Grecque and Ipsos Restaurant & Bar.
“It’s all about making food with passion and love; meraki as they say in Greece. Since the day we opened our doors in 2015, our goal has been to always serve our customers with a smile and good quality Greek food. The response from customers has been great,” says 31-year-old owner Andrew Papadakis who arrived in Australia in 2014 and set up his business in Adelaide.
The Press Club, Hellenic Republic (Kew), and Gazi
“It’s all about food in the middle of the table that’s shared between friends and family; that’s the Hellenic way, the Hellenic spirit,” says George Calombaris whose three restaurants in Victoria have also made the prestigious list.
“Food is to be enjoyed with family and friends,” says Nick Papazahariakis who has shaped the Adelaide food scene with his iconic restaurant for more than 30 years.
Here are the 18 nominated restaurants that feature Greek-influenced menus and/or stock a variety of Greek wine selections and produce, in no particular order:
· 1821 (NSW) www.universalhotels.com.au/1821restaurant-2
· A La Grecque, Aireys Inlet (VIC) www.alagrecque.com.au
· Alpha (NSW) www.alpharestaurant.com.au
· Brika (WA) www.brika.com.au
· Elyros (VIC) www.elyros.com.au
· Epocha (VIC) www.epocha.com.au
· Gazi (VIC) ww.gazirestaurant.com.au
· Georges on Waymouth (SA) www.georgesonwaymouth.com.au
· Hellenic Republic Kew (VIC) www.hellenicrepublic.com.au
· Ipsos, Lorne (VIC) www.ipsosrestaurant.com.au
· Meze Mazi (SA) www.mezemazi.com.au
· Orexi by Baxevanis (ACT) www.hellenicclub.com.au
· The Apollo(NSW) www.theapollo.com.au
· The European (VIC) www.theeuropean.com.au
· The Press Club (VIC) www.thepressclub.com.au
· Yots Greek Taverna (NT) www.yots.com.au
· Chloes Restaurant (SA) www.chloes.com.au
To view the full list, head to www.afr.com/australias-top-restaurants