These restaurants were recently honoured at two 2008 American Express Platinum Fine Dining Award regional ceremonies held in Sandton, Johannesburg and Tokai, Cape Town.
The restaurants who received top honours at the Sandton event were Bellgables, Gramadoelas, Le Canard, Linger Longer and Piccolo Mondo in Gauteng and Jaipur Palace in KwaZulu-Natal.
Restaurants in the Western Cape were Aubergine, Buitenverwachting Catharina's, Boschendal, Bosman's and Haute Cabrière Cellar Restaurant.
Launched internationally in 1991, the American Express Platinum Fine Dining Programme was extended to South Africa ten years ago.
"This was developed for our Platinum Card members as a list of restaurants that commit themselves to satisfying the superior dining expectations of a discerning clientele," said Vanessa Singh, Head of American Express Card Marketing.
Well-known food critic, Victor Strugo said the restaurants have earned ten uninterrupted annual accolades because they constantly excel in food quality and innovation as well as in their professional level of food and wine service.
The Fine Dining Awards is in its tenth year and has expanded from 16 restaurants when it started, to 84 restaurant awards for 2008.
The selection criteria for the American Express Awards include cuisine, service (including menu and wine knowledge), wine list, décor and ambience as well as overall excellence and consistency.
Standards are checked thoroughly and restaurants are regularly re-evaluated. Previous awards are not automatically renewed, proving these awards are given on merit and not repertoire.
These 12 restaurants continue to strive towards excellence in food and service and with that, continue to fly the flag high for South African dining.