Last week alongside a couple of hundred chefs and restaurateurs, I headed down to Salt Meat Cheese in Alexandria. We were there for the launch of Sydney’s latest entry in the restaurant guide scene: the 2014 Gault & Millau Sydney Restaurant Guide [RRP $24.99]. This is the international company’s first foray into Australian waters, with plans to launch a Melbourne guide next year. While they certainly made a splash with singers and their own yellow “go me-yo” vehicle driving through the crowd, the guide itself seems a bit hit and miss. What I liked seeing was venues like Glebe’s constantly overlooked Restaurant Atelier get the 16/20 that it has long deserved. What I didn’t like was the ‘mouthwatering’ advertorial style of writing that gives the reader little indication as to whether or not they’ll like a venue; and also fails to give the restaurant any indication of where it might have gone wrong. Excluding some Sydney gems like The Woods and Café Opera (see my review) also implies that these restaurants are below the guide’s minimum standard, which (if my meals were anything to go by) clearly ain’t the case.
Here's a list of the restaurants this new guide contains and their scores, with my reviews linked if I have also reviewed them, and BOLD text to indicate that I've dined at them but not published a review.
Five Hats (18.5 to 19 points)
Momofuku Seiōbo, Quay, Sepia
Four Hats (17 to 18.4 points)
Billy Kwong, The Bridge Room, Chiswick Restaurant and Bar, est., Gastro Park, Jonah's Restaurant, Marque, MoVida, Rockpool, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sean's Panaroma, sixpenny, Tetsuya's
Three Hats (15 to 16 points)
Altitude Restaurant, ARIA Restaurant, Arras, The Bathers' Pavilion, Bei Amici, Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Berowra Waters Inn, Bistro Boulevard, BLACK by Ezard, Busshari, Cafe Sydney, Cara & Co, Catalina, China Doll, Clareville Kiosk, Cottage Point Inn, The Cut Bar & Grill, The Devonshire, Fix St James, Flying Fish Restaurant & Bar, 4Fourteen, Four in Hand Dining Room, Fratelli Paradiso, Kitchen by Mike, Longrain, Lucio's, Ms. G's, Otto Ristorante, Pendolino, Pilu at Freshwater, Pony Dining, Popolo, Porteno, Restaurant Atelier, Spencer Guthrie, Spice Temple, Tastevin Bistro & Wine Bar, Tomislav Restaurant, Uccello, Verde Restaurant + Bar, Vini
Two Hats (13 to 14 points)
A Tavola, Agape Organic Restaurant, Almond Bar, Ananas Bar & Brasserie, The Apollo, Aqua Dining, Ash St. Cellar, Azuma, Balla, Bambini Trust, Bar H, Barbuto Restaurant, Baroque Bistro Patisserie, Barrenjoey House, Barrio Chino, Bellevue Dining Room, Berta, Bishop Sessa, Bistro Moncur, Bistrode CBD, Blancharu, bloodwood, The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, Bodega, Bondi's Best, Bronte Road Bistro, Buffalo Dining Club, Buon Ricordo, The Burlington, Burnt Orange, Buzo Trattoria, Cafe Lyon, Chef's Gallery, China Beach, Chophouse, Cipri Italian, Cucinetta Ristorante & Bar, deviate, The Dining Room, The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen, Dunes Restaurant & Kiosk, Enopizzeria, Felix, The Fish Shop, Foley Lane, Foveaux Restaurant & Bar, Garfish Manly, Ginger & Spice, glass brasserie, Glebe Point Diner, Gowings Bar & Grill, Grecian Blue, Hartsyard, honeycomb, House, Hugos Manly, Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, il perugino, Intermezzo Ristorante, Jah Bar, Kabuki Shoroku, Kalevu, Kobe Jones Teppanyaki, Letoile, La Rosa Bar & Pizza, La Tratt, La Trattoria on Norton, Luke Benchmark, Malabar Darlinghurst, Manly Wine, Manta, Mexicano, Mission Restaurant and Bar, Morena, Mr Wong, Neptune Palace, Neutral Bay Diner, Nilgiri's, North Bondi Italian Food, O Bar and Dining, Ocean Room, Ormeggio at The Spit, Orto Trading Co, Oscillate Wildly, The Owl House, The Pantry, PaperPlanes, Pizza Mario, Pompei's, Public Dining Room, Red Lantern on Crown, Restaurant 16, Ripples Chowder Bay, Ripples Milsons Point, Ripples Sydney Wharf, Rocket Restaurant, Sails on Lavender Bay, Sake Restaurant & Bar, the sardine room, Signorelli Gastronomia, Sokyo, Spice I Am Darlinghurst, Starfish Avalon, Steel Bar & Grill, sugarcane, Sugaroom, sushi e, tapioca, The Tea Room Gunner's Barracks, Three Blue Ducks, Toko Restaurant & Bar, Ume, Verandah Restaurant & Wine Bar, Wilbur's Place, Wildfire, The Wine Library, Xanthi, Yoshii, Zaaffran
One Hat (11 to 12 points)
Aki’s Indian, Angel Restaurant, Antoine’s Grill, BAHBW, Banjo Patterson Cottage Restaurant, Bau Truong, Beppi’s, bills, Bistro Bruno, Bitton Café & Grocer, Blue Eye Dragon, The Boathouse Palm Beach, Booth St Bistro, Brown Sugar, Café Sopra, The Carrington, Cavallino, Chairman Mao, Chat Thai, Chinta Ria Mood for Love, The Cook’s Garden, Courtney’s Brasserie, Danny’s Seafood, Delicado Foods, Din Tai Fung World Square, The Eathouse Diner, Efendy, Emmilou, Fei Jai, Firefly Neutral Bay, Fish Face, 42 Bannerman Trattoria e Bar, Galileo Restaurant, Garfish Crows Nest, Garfish Kirribilli, Gazebo Wine Bar, Golden Century Seafood Restaurant, Grappa Ristorante e Bar, The Grounds of Alexandria, HaNa Ju-Rin, Harvest Store & Kitchen, Hickson Road Bistro, High St Bistro, Home Thai, Hugos Bar Pizza, Iron Chef Chinese Seafood Restaurant, Izakaya Fujiyama, Jamie’s Italian, Ju Ge Mu & Shimbashi, Kazbah Balmain, Kobe Jones Sydney, Kujin, La Brasserie, La Grand Bouffe, La Grillade, La Pesa Trattoria, La Scala on Jersey, Lachlan’s Restaurant, love.fish, Lucio Pizzeria, Machiavelli Ristorante, Malabar Crow’s Nest, The Malaya, Mamak, The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room, New Shanghai, Nostos, The Old Library, Oliveto Ristorante & Bar, Osteria Riva, Palace Chinese Restaurant, Palings, Parma, Pony Neutral Bay, Quattro Paste, Queenies, Radio Cairo, Red Chilli Sichuan Restaurant, Red Lantern on Riley, Rengaya, Ripples Whale Beach, The Riverview Hotel Dining Room, Safi, Sakana-Ya, Seven Lanterns, Spice I Am Balmain, Stella Blu, Stuyvesant’s House, Szechuan Garden Restaurant, Temasek, 3 Weeds Restaurant, Treehouse, The Union Restaurant, Via Napoli Pizzeria, Vicinity Dining, WAQU, Wildwater Grill, The Winery