Award Winners



Chef of the year: Richard Carstens
Restaurant of the year: Yum (closed)
Best new restaurant: Haiku (closed)
Lifetime achievement award: Dr Bill Gallagher

Restaurants were not ranked within the Top 10 until the following year, and are hence presented alphabetically below.

95 Keerom
9th Avenue Bistro
Auberge Michel (closed)
Ginja (closed)
La Colombe
Lynton Hall (closed)
Yum (Closed)



Hilary Biller
“Dining out is about a complete experience. Food, décor, ambience, service, wine list. Having said that, I can forgive poor service, mediocre wine lists or indifferent resta rooms but the food must be the hero. A venue has won my loyalty and patronage if the dishes tantalise the taste buds. The sign of a great chef is someone who uses seasonal items in a myriad enticing ways. Nothing beats the simplicity of quality, fresh ingredients cooked to a turn with the minimum of additional ingredients to detract from what is being presented. Chefs need not much around with ingredients for the sake of it, or to create a stir. The biggest problem facing South African restaurants is consistency; often one great dining experience is no guarantee that the next will be equally satisfying. It is often the smallest bistro, which is chef/owner managed, that offers the best dining-out experience.”

Phillippa Cheifitz
“Traditionally, a top restaurant conjured up an image of a palatial interior of rich drapes and soft carpeting, crystal chandeliers and glass, polished silver and silver service. This does not describe this year’s winning restaurant. We desire something a little more contemporary. What I want is an enjoyable restaurant experience. A restaurant to remember. One that I want to patronize ofen if it’s a casual place or to keep for celebrations if its more formal. What all the winning restaurant do share is passion: on the part of the chef or the restaurateur – preferably both. The kind of food I love best is innovative and fresh, using seasonal local ingredients. I respect chefs and restaurateurs who encourage and support local producers. We apprecieate that good food and time is costly, but we applaud restaurants that offer value for money. We also appreciate good wines by the glass, to suit each dish, professionally serve, poured from the bottle and allowed to be tasted.”

Review Team


Abigail Donnelly
Adelle Horler
Andrea Vinassa
Angela Brooks
Bridget Hilton-Barber
Colette van Zyl
Diane de Beer
Frank Chemaly
Graeme Shapiro
Graham Howe
Ingrid Shevlin
Janine Walker
Josef Talotta
Julia Butcher
Karena du Plessis
Lisa van Aswegen
Marlene van Eeden
Marty Klinzman
Neil Pendock
Nikki Werner
Paul Murray
Rosanne Buchanan
Samantha Smith
Sarah Buitendach
Theuns Fourie
Vicki Sleet

Promoted Restaurants