Award Winners

The shining lights of South Africa’s restaurant world will be honoured at the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on Sunday, 19 November at Grand West in Cape Town. This year, we've introduced some exciting changes. Read more about the new format, here.


Top Ten

The Top 10 restaurants in South Africa, along with individual awards including the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year Award, The Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs Chef Award and the Eat Out S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna Chef of the Year, will be honoured at the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on Sunday, 19 November at Grand West in Cape Town. This year, we've introduced some exciting changes. Read more about the new format, here.

Tickets to the event are sold out.


To shine the spotlight on even more restaurants this year, the list of contenders for the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards has been increased from 20 to 30 nominees.

The nominees, in no particular order, are:


The Top 10 restaurants will be revealed on Sunday 19 November 2017 at the awards ceremony at GrandWest in Cape Town, after a countdown from positions 20 to 11.

This year for the first time, the above chefs will also vote for the Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef Award. Find out more here.

The criteria to determine the nominees and winners can be viewed here.

Title Sponsor

Premium luxury vehicle manufacturer Mercedes-Benz aims to live up to its unmistakeable strapline – “The best or nothing” – by showcasing not only its luxury products, but the Mercedes-Benz lifestyle. To this end, Mercedes-Benz has entered into not only the fashion arena, but the world of fine dining, with its sponsorship of the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.

In practical terms, the brand aims to be the market-leader across all premium automotive segments, and at the same time, bring to the fore what it is like to live in the world of the three-pointed star. This latter point can be achieved through the Mercedes-Benz online lifestyle portal,, which focuses on art, design, fashion, travel, food, trends, technology and motoring.

In line with the changing face of its market, Mercedes-Benz is reaching out to a new, younger audience through increased online activities. Its sponsorship of the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards is another step into bringing the lifestyle of Mercedes-Benz to a wider audience.


Title sponsor


Associate sponsors

associate sponsors














Judging of the Top 10

The winners of the awards are chosen by a team of experts who remain anonymous throughout the judging process. The team is headed up by Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly.

Restaurants do not elect to be judged for the Top 10 restaurants.

With input from the Eat Out community, the judges draw up a list of candidates for nomination. Each restaurant has to adhere to the following guidelines:
- The establishment must have been open with the same highest-ranking chef since November 2016. Changes in décor, closure for winter or other breaks, and staffing changes, other than of the highest-ranking chef, over this time period do not disqualify a restaurant.
- Consistency and excellence must shine through every aspect of the experience.
- The owners and chef should demonstrate total passion for the business.
- They should also be dedicated to uplifting the industry.
- The sourcing of quality produce should be a priority.
The judges dine at each nominated restaurant and score them on the criteria below. Finally, the scorecards are audited and the winners calculated.

The full scorecard for 2017 is below:

Food (/80)
– Menu composition: Choice, cooking techniques, variety of ingredients, dietary requirements.    (/12)
– Ethical awareness: Sourcing of meat, seafood, dairy, eggs and other produce.     (/5)
– Food presentation: Visual appeal, fits description, use of plate, garnishes.    (/20)
– Food taste: Execution of dish, balance of flavours and textures.    (/30)
– Price value: What's delivered on the plate relative to the price of the dish. Value for money.    (/5)
– Wine choice: How many are offered, wine and food pairing, other beverages offered in pairing, knowledge of service staff, value for money. (/8)

Service (/15)
Reservations process, arrival, attitude of staff, knowledge of menu and restaurant, specials, wine matching, dietary requirements, extra mile, billing.

Ambience (/5)
Comfort level, atmosphere, clean linen, cutlery, music, bathroom.

TOTAL    (/100)

Judging of the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award

The Sustainability Award is judged by a separate panel of experts including Abigail Donnelly, Pavitray Pillay of WWF-SASSI, Sonia Mountford of Eategrity and Karen Welter of Longtable Project. Eat Out has worked with these partners to develop robust criteria for evaluating restaurants for this award. This award will recognise a restaurant that has made great strides towards being sustainable and sustainably aware. Interested South African restaurants complete an entry form to enter, are required to show proof of claims, and receive a site visit if shortlisted. The shortlisted restaurants are not announced, but will be given feedback by the judging panel.

Find out more and download the entry form here.

Review Team

The 2018 magazine will go on sale in November 2017. The panel of critics will be revealed once the reviewing process is complete.

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