Award Winners

In addition to the announcement of the Top 10, stellar restaurants and individuals on the South African scene also received special awards. They are:

Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year: Bertus Basson, Eike and Overture

Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year: Jewell’s Restaurant, Paarl

Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star: Katlego Mlambo, The Marabi Club

Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef: Ivor Jones, Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia

Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award: Camphors at Vergelegen, Somerset West

Eat Out Nespresso Innovation Award: The Test Kitchen, Woodstock, Cape Town

Eat Out Service Excellence: The Test Kitchen

Eat Out Wine Service Award: Joseph Dhafana, La Colombe

Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service: Jennifer Hugé, FYN Restaurant

Eat Out Bridget McCarney Game Changer Award: SA POC at the Table

Eat Out Irna van Zyl Food Media Icon: Dorah Sitole

Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award: Annette Kesler

Eat Out Style Award: FYN Restaurant

Top Ten

South Africa’s shining culinary talents were honoured at the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on 17 November 2019 at the Grand Arena at GrandWest in Cape Town.

The Top 10 restaurants:

1. La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)

2. The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)

3. The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West)

4. Wolfgat (Paternoster)

5. FYN Restaurant (City Bowl, Cape Town)

6. La Petite Colombe (Franschhoek)

7. Eike (Stellenbosch)

8. Salsify (Camps Bay, Cape Town)

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

10. Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town)

We also honoured numbers 11 to 20:

11. Camphors at Vergelegen (Somerset West)

12. Overture (Stellenbosch)

13. LivingRoom at Summerhill Estate (Cowies Hill, Durban)

14. Chefs Warehouse at Maison (Franschhoek)

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

16. Le Coin Français (Franschhoek)

17. La Tête (City Bowl, Cape Town)

18. The Shortmarket Club (City Bowl, Cape Town)

19. Tjing Tjing Momiji (City Bowl, Cape Town)

20. Rust en Vrede (Stellenbosch)


To celebrate the wealth of talent on the restaurant scene, Eat Out will count down from 20 to 11 at the foodie event of the year, which will take place at GrandWest in Cape Town on Sunday 17 November 2019, before finally revealing the Top 10 restaurants in the country.

The nominees, in alphabetical order, are:

Camphors at Vergelegen
Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia
Chefs Warehouse at Maison
Fermier Restaurant
FYN Restaurant
Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort
Janse & Co
Jardine Restaurant
Jordan Restaurant
La Colombe
La Petite Colombe
La Tête
Le Coin Français
LivingRoom at Summerhill Estate
Pierneef à La Motte
Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient
Rust en Vrede
The Restaurant at Waterkloof
The Shortmarket Club
The Test Kitchen
Tjing Tjing Momiji
The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal

In addition to naming the hotly contested Top 10 restaurants, the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards will also recognise the following winners:

Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year
Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year
Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star Award
Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef Award
Eat Out Service Excellence Award
Eat Out Wine Service Award
Eat Out Nespresso Innovation Award
Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service
Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award
Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award
Eat Out VISI Style 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 also 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











Judging of the Top 10 

The winners of the awards are chosen by a team of experts who remain anonymous – to the restaurant community at large and to one another – throughout the judging process. The panel of judges is convened by Margot Janse.

Restaurants do not elect to be judged for the Awards.

With input from the Eat Out community, the judges draw up a list of candidates to be judged. Each restaurant has to adhere to the following guidelines:

The establishment must have been open with the same highest-ranking chef* since November 2018. 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.

* Representatives of all eligible restaurants need to inform Eat Out in writing of the highest-ranking chef they wish to be named and judged for the awards, should the restaurant place as a nominee, as well as the date on which they stepped into the role. Movements by these individuals since November 2018 and in future will affect the respective restaurants’ eligibility.

The judges dine at each nominated restaurant and score them on the criteria below. They do not confer or compare scores. Finally, the scorecards are audited and the winners calculated.

The scorecard for 2019 is below, with space for detailed comments in each section:

Food (/75)
– Menu composition: Neat and presentable, seasonality of ingredients, provenance indicated, variety of ingredients, dietary requirements, correct use of terminology, menu explained to diner. (/15)
– Food presentation: Thought taken, aesthetically pleasing. (/10)
– Food taste and technique: Each dish served is rated for textures, seasoning, freshness of ingredients, variety of techniques, execution of technique, balance of flavours and textures, and temperature. (/30)
– Beverage choice: Success of wine pairing, wine knowledge, correct temperature, variety of wines, support of small producers, availability of alternative drinks pairing. (/20)

Service (/20)
Attention to detail, technique, timing, knowledge of menu and restaurant, welcoming, proper table setting, neat presentation of waiters, clean bathroom and linen.

Ambience (/5)
Suitable décor, acoustics, comfort, temperature, lighting.

TOTAL (/100)

- As the food score is paramount, counting for 75% of the total score, in the instance of two restaurants having precisely the same overall score and therefore in a tie, the average food score of each restaurant will be used to break the tie.

- Restaurant representatives are offered the opportunity to meet with the chief judge after the awards for feedback on their scorecards from each anonymous judge.

Judging of the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award

The Sustainability Award is judged by a separate panel of experts including 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.

Promoted Restaurants