Despite a continuing difficult period for the South African restaurant and hospitality industry due to tough local and global economic conditions, 83 restaurants feature in the latest American Express Platinum Fine Dining Programme, which annually recognizes the country’s top eating establishments. 12 new restaurants also made the grade this year.
The 2013 awards were presented at the beautiful Brenaissance Wine Estate in a setting befitting fine dining.
The judging panel
This year’s judging panel comprise well known restaurant critic, Victor Strugo, food writer Anna Trapido and Cape Town “foodie” Tamsin Snyman, assisted by anonymous assessors.
Selection criteria for inclusion in the programme include quality and creativity of cuisine, service, wine list, décor and ambience as well as overall excellence and American Express card acceptance.
The geographical spread of the 83 awards:
Gauteng (29); Cape Peninsula (18); Cape Winelands (14); Kwazulu-Natal (9); Garden Route (8); Free State (2); Klein Karoo (1); North West (1); Eastern Cape (1)
12 New Awards:
There are 12 recipients of their first American Express Platinum Awards: Azure and Bombay Brasserie (both in the Cape Peninsula); 7 on Kellner (Bloemfontein); Kurland Hotel Restaurant (Plettenberg Bay); DW11-13; Fairway, Gray, Il Tartufo and Thava (Johannesburg), Jazz Maniacs (Soweto); Ninth Ave Bistro (Durban); and Silver Orange (Hartebeespoort).
2 make 10-year milestone:
The two restaurants that have reached the prestigious milestone of 10 consecutive awards are: Bukhara in Cape Town and The Butcher Shop and Grill in Sandton.
The full list of 2013 awards:
Cape Peninsula (18): Aubergine, Azure, BistroSixteen82, Bombay Brasserie, Buitenverwachting, Bukhara (city bowl), Catharina’s, Constantia Uitsig, The Foodbarn, Gold, The Greenhouse, Haiku; Il Leone, La Colombe, Nobu, Planet Restaurant, The Roundhouse, Savoy Cabbage
Cape Winelands (14): 96 Winery Road, Boschendal, Bosman’s, Bread & Wine, Fraai Uitzicht 1798, Grande Provence, Jardine at Jordan, Mimosa Lodge, Overture, The Pavilion, Pierneef a La Motte, Reuben’s (Franschhoek), Seafood at the Marine, Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français
Eastern Cape (1): Hacklewood Hill (Port Elizabeth)
Free State (1): De Oude Kraal, 7 on Kellner
Klein Karoo (1): Kalinka Karoo Cuisine
Garden Route (8): La Locanda (George), Kurland Hotel Restaurant, Sand at the Plettenberg, Zinzi at Tsala (Plettenberg Bay), Serendipity (Wilderness), Trans Karoo (Great Brak), Pembreys, Zachary’s (Knysna),
Johannesburg (24): Bellagio, Bellgables, BICE, Butcher Shop & Grill, Café del Sol, DW11-13, Fairway, La Cucina di Ciro, Gramadoelas, Gray, Il Tartufo, Jazz Maniacs, La Campagnola, Le Canard, Le Souflle, Mastrantonia, Osteria Tre Nonni, Piccolo Mondo, Roots at Forum Homini, Saxon, Sel et Poivre, Thava, Wombles, Yamato
Tshwane (5): Geet, La Madeleine, La Pentola, Mosaic, Ritrovo Ristorante,
KwaZulu-Natal (9): Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse, Daruma, Hartford House, Harvey’s, Ile Maurice, Ninth Avenue Bistro, Roma Revolving Restaurant, Spice, Sugar Club
North West (1): Silver Orange (Hartbeespoort)
Huge congratulations to all the award winners!