The Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year 2019 is....

 Ed Verner's Pasture takes the Supreme Award for his intimate six-seater Parnell restaurant, as well as winning Best Chef in the 2019 Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year awards. 

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Six-seat Parnell restaurant, Pasture has taken the title of Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year, with owner Ed Verner also named Best Chef.  

The honour was announced on Monday night in front of an audience of Auckland’s most successful restaurant owners, Mayor Phil Goff and other distinguished guests at the annual red-carpet awards dinner at the Auckland Town Hall.

The annual Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year Awards celebrate the excellence of Auckland’s dining scene. The panel considered more than 100 contenders, refining the list to 50 after months of deliberation. Judges visited restaurants anonymously and paid for their own meals.

The Top 50 finalists, announced in early April, were considered for category awards as well as the Supreme Winner award, which was decided by international executive judge Pat Nourse.

This year was the first in years that an international executive judge was enlisted to help with the awards' judging. Nourse, as the creative director of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and chair of the voting panel for Oceania region for World’s 50 Best Restaurants is exceptionally qualified for the role. He was also an editor for Gourmet Traveller for 14 years and edited the magazine’s restaurant guide.

Pasture was the night's big winner, also nabbing the best Fine-Dining category, Best Dish for their Aged New Zealand Wagyu & AC/DC, and runner-up for Best Drinks.

“What the restaurant lacks in size, it makes up for in ambience, detail, and experimentation,” said Metro editor, Henry Oliver. “We set out to find not just Auckland’s best food, but its best dining experience and Pasture gave us one we’d never had before, pushing the limits of what a night at a restaurant can be.

“Six guests are seated at a bar and see their dishes cooked right in front of them by a small team of chefs who take care of the entire experience, pouring wine, mixing cocktails, clearing plates and guiding you through the evening. Each dish as surprising and innovative as the last, with chef Ed Verner combining traditional methods of fermentation with modern techniques and a relentless dedication to quality ingredients.”

Meanwhile, Supreme Award runner-up Cazador took home the award for Best Neighbourhood Restaurant. It was the Mt Eden restaurant's second year in a row to come runner up in the Supreme Award category. Cazador’s strong story of family ownership across two generations appealed to Nourse, along with its nose-to-tail eating ethos and often strange culinary mash-ups.

“Cazador is like nothing else I’ve seen anywhere, really — an incredible mix of wild flavours, sharp ideas and careful cooking, from the preserved lemon that sparks up smoked-mussel pâté on flatbread to the tahini binding seared poussin hearts and boar bacon in a thicket of parsley,” Nourse said.

In a new category for 2019, Amano won the Best All-day Restaurant award, which recognises the distinct challenges of opening a restaurant for three meals a day. Head chef Jo Pearson also came runner-up for the Best Chef award.

Apéro won Best Casual Restaurant and was runner-up for Best Service, which was won by Baduzzi.

Restaurant Personality of the Year went to Hiro Kawahara, sommelier at Sid at The French Café, known for his impeccable taste and unsurpassed knowledge of fine wines.

For the second year in a row, last year's Supreme Award winners Sid and Chand Sahrawat jointly won the Restauranteur of the Year award, with their restaurant Cassia also winning Best Smart Restaurant.

 Three Seven Two is one to watch, winning Best New and Best Destination restaurant with their offering on Waiheke Island which opened late last year.

Winner of Best Wine list is O’Connell Street Bistro for the second year running and best drinks list went to Ponsonby Road Bistro.

Peugeot proudly sponsored the awards for the fifth year in a row, running the special Peugeot People’s Choice Award recognising Aucklander’s favourite dish as voted by Metro readers. This year Saan’s crispy soft shell crab has won the hearts of Auckland diners.

Metro food director Simon Farrell Green said of this year's awards: “We were very impressed by the overall standard not just of the category winners but all of the restaurants which made the Top 50 list. Once again, they’ve done their city proud.” To read more about what makes a Supreme Winner, read Farrell-Green's piece here.

The full list of the 2019 Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year awards are:

Supreme Winner: 

Pasture

Runner-up: Cazador

Finalists:

Amano

Apéro

Cassia

Three Seven Two

Others awarded five spoons

Baduzzi

Cotto

O’Connell Street Bistro

Sid at The French Café

Sidart

The Engine Room

Best Fine-Dining Restaurant:

Pasture

 

Runner-up: Sidart

Finalists

Clooney

Kazuya

Lillius

Sid at The French Café

The Grove

Best Smart Restaurant:

Cassia

Runner-up: Baduzzi

Finalists:

Augustus

Azabu

Cocoro

Ebisu

Euro Bar & Restaurant

Han

Masu

O’Connell Street Bistro

Paris Butter

Saan

Soul Bar & Bistro

Best Casual Restaurant:

Apéro

 

Runner-up: Cotto

 Finalists:

1947 eatery

Cafe Hanoi

Coco’s Cantina

Culprit

Gemmayze St

Hello Beasty

Madame George

Ponsonby Road Bistro

Prego

SPQR

The Blue Breeze Inn

Woodpecker Hill

Best Neighbourhood Restaurant:

Cazador

 

Runner-up: The Engine Room

Finalists:

Pasta & Cuore

The Grounds

Best all-day Restaurant:

Amano



Runner-up: Depot

Finalists:

Gusto at the Grand

Hugo’s Bistro

Little Bird

Orphans Kitchen

Ortolana

Rosie

Best Destination restaurant:

Three Seven Two

Runner-up: The Tasting Shed

Finalists:

Casita Miro

Rothko

Peugeot People’s Choice Award for Best Dish:

Soft-shell crab, Saan

Finalists:

Tuna sashimi tostada, Azabu

Tandoori chicken, Cassia

Tiramisu, Cotto

Pork hock, Depot

Hummus, Gemmayze St

Steak tartare, O’Connell Street Bistro

Churros con chocolate, The Engine Room

 Restaurateur of the Year:

Sid and Chand Sahrawat (joint), Sidart, Sid at The French Café, Cassia

 

Runner-up: Michael Dearth, The Grove, Baduzzi

Best Chef:

Ed Verner, Pasture

Runner-up:

Jo Pearson, Amano, Ortolana, Rosie

Finalists:

Bronwen Laight, Three Seven Two

Dariush Lolaiy, Cazador

Leslie Hottiaux, Apéro

Min Baek, Han

Sid Sahrawat, Sidart, Sid at The French Café, Cassia

Stefania Ugolini, Pasta & Cuore

Best Service:

Baduzzi

 

Runner-up: Apéro

Finalists:

Cazador

Lillius

O’Connell Street Bistro

Pasture

Restaurant Personality of the Year:

Hiro Kawahara, Sid at The French Café

 

Runner-up: Carlo Buenaventura, Gemmayze St

Finalists:

Benjamin Astarie, Clooney

Calum McKenzie, Augustus

Katie Woodhead, Hello Beasty

Milika Gasparetti, Coco’s Cantina

Sven Nielsen, Rothko

Best Dish:

Aged New Zealand wagyu and
AC/DC, Pasture

Finalists:

Poussin hearts, Cazador

Spinach and goats’ cheese dumplings with sage, Cotto

Crispy calamari pancake, Han

Crown pumpkin, fermented coffee, hemp, Lillius

Crab with corn, Sidart

Best Wine:

O’Connell Street Bistro

 Runner-up: Rothko

Finalists:

Amano

Apéro

Kazuya

Lillius

Pasta & Cuore

Best Drinks List: 

Ponsonby Road Bistro

Runner-up: Pasture

Finalists:

Azabu

Cazador

Cocoro

Masu

Best New Restaurant:

Three Seven Two

 Finalists:

Hello Beasty

Rothko

Sid at The French Café

Our 2019 Top 50 reviews for Restaurant of the Year are below: 

1947 Eatery, Amano, Apero, Augustus, Azabu, Baduzzi, Café Hanoi, Casita Miro, Cassia, Cazador, ClooneyCocoro, Coco's Cantina, Cotto, Culprit, Depot, Ebisu, Euro, Gemmayze St, Gusto at the Grand. Han Restaurant, Hello Beasty, Hugo's Bistro, Kazuya, Lillius, Little Bird, Madame George, Masu, O'Connell St Bistro, Orphans Kitchen, Ortolana, Paris Butter, Pasta e Cuore, Pasture, Ponsonby Road Bistro, Prego, Rosie, Rothko, Saan, Sid at French Café, Sidart, Soul Bar and Bistro, SPQR, The Blue Breeze Inn, The Engine Room, The Grounds, The Grove,The Tasting Shed, Three Seven Two, Woodpecker Hill

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