Award Winners

South Africa’s shining culinary talents were honoured at the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on Sunday, 20 November. The Grand Arena at Grand West in Cape Town was transformed into a luxurious secret garden for the Sunday lunch of the year.

The Top 10 restaurants

1. The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)

2. La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)

3. The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West)

4. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français (Franschhoek)

5. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Elandsfontein, Pretoria)

6. Overture (Stellenbosch)

7. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort (Constantia, Cape Town)

8. The Kitchen at Maison (Franschhoek)

9. Foliage (Franschhoek)

10. Camphors at Vergelegen (Somerset West)

All the winners

In addition to the Top 10 restaurants, we also honoured some stellar restaurants and individuals with special awards. Stay tuned for more about each winner in the coming week.

Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year: Gregory Czarnecki of The Restaurant at Waterkloof

Eat Out Nespresso Service Excellence Award: La Colombe

Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star: Angelo Scirocco of Urbanologi

Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year: Foxcroft

Eat Out Wine Service Award: Tinashe Nyamudoka of The Test Kitchen

Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter Veldsman

Eat Out Boschendal Style Award: Marble

Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service: Jennifer Hugé of La Colombe

Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award: The Table at De Meye

Woolworths TASTE Eat Out Bursary winner: Ayanda Matomela

Click here for more information on the judging for each of the awards.

Click here to see videos of 5 plates at each of the 20 of the nominees.

Follow @Eat_Out on Twitter and search #EatOutAwards for all the awards excitement. Visit Eat Out’s Instagram page @eatoutguide and Facebook page for photographs of the awards celebration.


The 20 nominees for the Top 10 of this year’s Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards are:

See what the judges had to say about each of the nominees below:

Says Abigail Donnelly, Eat Out editor and chief judge: “The outstanding restaurants celebrated this year show a clever combination of consistency, evolution and playfulness. Rock ’n roll dishes have been created by these stars of the food world. The line-up, which includes regulars, reappearances and new names, proves that it’s not about trends, but rather about pure dedication.”

Other champions that will be announced at these annual food Oscars include the Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star and the recipient of the Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award. A separate judging process has also determined the winners of the Eat Out Boschendal Style Award and two new accolades, the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year and the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award.

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


To see the list of suppliers, click here.


BoschendalThe annual Boschendal Style Award is bestowed on the most stylish restaurant in South Africa.

Hard to define but easy to recognise, style is the elusive element that distinguishes great restaurants from the merely good. But style does not necessarily equal award-winning design: it’s all about the different elements of comfort, décor and atmosphere coming together to create a whole, whether it’s with a cutting-edge contemporary ambience or sumptuous vintage interiors.

Guests need to feel that they belong; chairs, music and lighting shouldn’t be too hard or too soft; and good-looking crockery and polished wine glasses are vital. Of course, décor and design is also key, whether the effect is glamorous, off-beat, classic or sophisticated urban chic.

The winner of the 2016 Eat Out Boschendal Style Award is Marble.

Visit our dedicated Boschendal page to see the rest of this year's 20 nominees for the Boschendal Style Award.


Judging of the Top 10

The Top 10 and the winners of the S.Pellegrino Acqua Panna Chef of the Year, Wine Service, Service Excellence and Rising Star awards are chosen by a team of experts who remain anonymous throughout the judging process. Now that the dining stage of their task is complete, we reveal their identities in the video below.

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 2015. 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 (out of 100 points). Finally, the scorecards are audited and the winners calculated.

The scorecard for the Top 10 is as follows:

Food and wine (70)

Menu composition and seasonality (12)

– The judges look for balance – on the menu, in the dishes, cooking styles, techniques and ingredients – and an awareness of different dietary requirements.

– Appreciation for the use of local and seasonal produce.

Ethical awareness (3)

Does the restaurant prioritise using ethically sourced animal products and sustainable fish species?

Presentation (15)

Is the dish attractively plated? Does the food look appealing? Does it match the menu description?

Taste (25)

Judges consider the execution of the dishes and the balance of flavours and textures.

Price and value for money (5)

Do you get value for money, considering where you are?

Wine choice (10)

The variety on offer is considered, as well as the wine and food pairings, knowledge of the sommelier and staff, and value for money.

Service (20)

From making the reservation to settling the bill, service can make or break a dining experience. The judges evaluate the attitude of staff; their knowledge of the menu, specials and wine pairings; and their willingness to go above and beyond to accommodate special requests.

Ambience (10)

The judges consider the spirit of a restaurant and the overall feeling it creates. Do you feel comfortable? Does the interior design speak of careful thought and attention to detail? Are the glasses, cutlery and linen spotless and of good quality?

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, Lynsay Sampson of Fairtrade South Africa, 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.

Judging of the Eat Out Retail Capital Best New Restaurant and Eat Out Boschendal Style Award

The Eat Out Retail Capital Best New Restaurant Award and the Boschendal Style Award are chosen by chief judge Abigail Donnelly in consultation with Eat Out’s panel of critics around the country.

Review Team

The panel of critics remained anonymous until reviewing for the Eat Out magazine was complete. It includes:

Alida Ryder
Anelde Greeff
Bernadette le Roux
Charlotte Pregnolato
Clement Pedro
Colette du Plessis
Diane de Beer
Graham Howe
Greg Landman
Hennie Fisher
Hetta van Deventer-Terblanche
Ilse van der Merwe
Ingrid Jones
Ishay Govender-Ypma
Jodi-Ann Pearton
Jody Theodore
John Maytham
Kate Liquorish
Katharine Jacobs
Khanya Mzongwana
Kholeka Kumalo
Lentswe Bhengu
Linda Scarborough
Lisa van Aswegen
Marie-Lais Emond
Mokgadi Itsweng
Nicola Ashe
Nikita Buxton
Nicola Jenvey
Petro Lotz
Priscilla Urquhart
Lynda Ingham-Brown
Raphaella Frame-Tolmie
Richard Holmes
Rupesh Kassen
Sam Linsell
Sandiso Ngubane
Shirley Berko
Thando Ndabezitha
Thulisa Martins
Trushka Soni
Xolisa Phillip
Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine
Zola Nene

Promoted Restaurants