eat-out-2016-logoLast night Eat Out presented its 2016 Western Cape Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Everyday Eatery Award winners, the second year that the awards have been presented provincially (previously presented nationally), and are less controversial than last year, with one exception!

Cryptically the Eat Out website states the foundation for the award winner selection in its various categories, to which they have added a new one and dropped two other categories relative to last year: ‘The winning restaurants are those with the highest average ratings given by Eat Out website users from 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016 – that’s a full year of reviews and star ratings. Eat Out also celebrated the eateries that were crowd favourites but didn’t quite receive enough reviews to win with ‘highly commended’ certificates‘.  The last sentence worries us, it not being clear how a restaurant can receive a highly commended’ evaluation if it did not receive enough reviews.  It is clear that new restaurants will have been disadvantaged if they have not been open for a full year. Villa 47 and The Stack are two such restaurants, having opened in March and May, respectively. Reaction on Twitter was critical of an award system based purely on the vote by the public, which can be open to manipulation by friends and family, without an evaluation by Eat Out judges!

The winning restaurants per category are the following:.

#   Best Asian Eatery: Active Sushi Shortmarket Street:

Receiving a highly commended certificate last year, it has won the category this year. The Asian Eatery category winner has been critically received over the years, especially when Saigon won it. It is likely that this award will be questioned too. Tjing Tjing Torii was highly commended, having won this category a year ago!

#   Best Bistro:  Betty Blue Bistrobetty-blue-bistro-eggs-benedict

We love this friendly and colourful Bistro in Hermanus, owner Celia Rabie and her team offering good service and healthy meals (photograph right). The Stack was highly commended.

#   Savanna Best Burger Eatery: Gibsons Gourmet Burgers and Ribs

This is the only sponsored category. The competition in this category is huge, with an increasing number of eateries offering burgers. Other than the recently opened Burger & Lobster, it is the most focused burger eatery in the Western Cape. Jerry’s Burger Bar in Observatory was highly commended.

#   Best Coffee Shop:  Meraki

I used to love the Greek restaurant which formerly occupied this restaurant space in Stellenbosch. One could hardly describe Meraki as ‘super stylish haven for all things delicious‘, as per Eat Out‘s motivation. I do love the artisanal Ice Cream Community, which I first experienced at Meraki last year. Pajamas and Jam in Strand was highly commended.

#   Best Country Style Eatery:  Karoux

Having eaten at Karoux in McGregor twice already, we expressed in our review the wish that a restaurant serving such good food made with local ingredients and run by a husband and wife team, would move to Cape Town! The Post House in Greyton was highly commended – we had a meal here in May, enjoying the food but the service was very poor!

#   Best Indian Eatery:  The Chapter with Prim Reddy

I am not a fan of Indian food, but have been impressed with the number of positive comments which owner Prim Reddy’s two restaurants receive on the Facebook page ‘Cape Town Restaurants: the good, the bad, and the nastyyyy…’. Impressive too is her response to the few patrons who have not been happy with their experience. Sundoo in Sea Point was highly commended.

#   Best Italian Eatery:   True Italic

The restaurant on Bree Street serves homemade pasta, and is unpretentious, given how trendy Bree Street is. I have villa-47-capresebeen twice, but many might disagree with the category winner, given the number of  good Italian restaurants in Cape Town and the province. Regular past winner 95 Keerom is not commended, and we are delighted that our favourite Locanda at Villa 47 is highly commended in this category (photograph left).

#   Best Steakhouse:  The Eatery Wood Fired Grill

I only know of this steakhouse in Claremont via the good reviews it receives on the Cape Town Restaurants Facebook page. Previous winner Carne is not commended. No steakhouse was highly commended.

#   Wild Card: Hoghouse Barbeque and Brewery

Eat Out introduced this new category, with the following motivation: ‘This Best Everyday Eatery winner inspired a first for us, because they don’t quite fit into any of our categories. With so many glowing reviews and sky-high ratings, we had to recognise them with a wild card award’.  Its location in industrial area Ndabeni is not appreciated by all! Owned by Chef PJ Vadas, a previous chef at two Eat Out Top 10 restaurants The Roundhouse and Camphors at Vergelegen.

Changes that have occurred in the Everyday Eatery awards relative to last year are the following:

#.  The Best African Eatery and Best Seafood categories have been removed

#.  Karoux won Best Bistro last year, and was reclassified as Best Country Style Eatery this year!

On 25 October the provincial awards for Gauteng, KZN, Free State, and Mpumalanga will be announced in Johannesburg.

Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards 2016. Tel (021) 417–1257  www.eatout.co.za  Twitter: @eat_out Instagram: @eatoutguide

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein