Last year saw the first ever Food Geek Awards. They seemed to go down pretty well and are a bit different from the usual ‘Top 10 Lists’ that are so popular at this time a year so it looks like they might become a regular thing.
After eating out around 130 times in 2013 the awards are much bigger and better this year with 10 new categories added and the shortlist for many increased from 3 to 5. Click the award to reveal the winners listed in reverse order. Links are included to the most relevant post/review for each restaurant or dish.
Like last year, the majority of my dining experiences in 2013 were positive but there were a couple of exceptions which you’ll find in the ‘Worst Of’ awards at the end.
Finally, please bear in mind that these awards are a bit of fun and of course subjective. I’ve tried to include a range of places from burger bars and gastropubs to authentic cuisine and fine-dining restaurants.
Best Restaurant Awards
Best Tea/Coffee/Cake Shop
Best (Gastro) Pub
Best Authentic Cuisine Restaurant
Best International Restaurant
Best Casual Dining Restaurant
Best Value Restaurant
Value is completely different to price, the cheapest places are often far from the best value. For me it’s about the ratio between price and quality.
Again this is difficult to judge across the board as you’d expect fine-dining restaurants to be able to provide a better standard of service than more casual restaurants. I’ve tried to take this into account.
Best Fine-Dining Restaurant
Best Tasting Menu
Best Overall Dining Experience
Best Dish Awards
10th: The Murray (SoLita)
9th: DD Burger (Almost Famous)
8th: Peri Peri Chicken Topped Cheeseburger (Farmers Arms)
7th: Green Chilli Cheeseburger (meatliquor)
6th: The Manc-Hatten (SoLita)
5th: A.N.A.L (SoLita)
4th: McFoie (Tapas 24)
3rd: Ramen Burger (SoLita)
2nd: Steamed Burger (Mishkins)
1st: The Life Aquatic (SoLita)
Best Side Dish / Snack
Best Street Food Dish
Another very tough category, I need to give a special mention to Fraiche for serving their bread as two actual courses, each featuring 3 or 4 mini loaves which were all fantastic.
5th: Holt Beer Bread (The French)
4th: Sourdough With Moroccan Spiced Hummus (Stravaigin)
3rd: Molasses Bread (Parkers Arms)
2nd: Onion & Bacon Brioche (The Ledbury)
1st: Sourdough Bread aka ‘Noma Bread’, (The WineGlass at Etrop Grange Hotel)
Best Main Course
Best Tasting Menu Dish: Savoury
5th: Field Mushroom Soup, English Truffle & Wild Garlic (Aumbry)
4th: Braised Snails, Potato & Parsley (Manchester House)
3rd: Flame Grilled Mackerel, Mustard & Shiso (The Ledbury)
2nd: Ox Tartare with Coal Oil, Pumpkin Seed, Kohlrabi & Sunflower Shoots (The French)
1st: Tuna Sashimi with Textures Of Tomato (Fraiche)
5th: Raspberry Soufflé (Albert Square Chop House)
4th: Chocolate & Orange Cake Pie (Farmers Arms)
3rd: Passion pudding and coconut rice (Mr Coopers House & Garden)
2nd: Lemon Meringue Pie, Blueberries & Wild Rice (The WineGlass, Etrop Grange Hotel)
1st: Egg Custard Tart / Portuguese Nata (Parkers Arms)
Best Tasting Menu Dish: Sweet
5th: Sweet Cheese, Rhubarb, Toasted Oats & Mulled Cider (The French)
4th: Pear With Meadowsweet, Rye, Buttermilk & Linseeds (The French)
3rd: Champagne Rhubarb, Ginger & Duck Egg Custard Slice (Parkers Arms)
2nd: Lemongrass Pannacotta (Fraiche)
1st: Brown Sugar Tart, Poached Grapes & Stem Ginger Ice Cream (The Ledbury)
Best Petit Fours
Best Festive Dish
Worst Of Awards
Yes, this list does mean that i’d genuinely rather eat the evil chicken wings made from pure naga chilli again than eat at Sapporo Teppanyaki.
5th: Shichimi Salmon (Samsi)
4th: Miso Soup (Samsi)
3rd: Black Death Wings (SoLita Hot Wing Challenge)
2nd: Sirloin Steak in Teriyaki Sauce (Sapporo Teppanyaki)
1st: Scallops with Ginger & Garlic (Sapporo Teppanyaki)
Phew! That was tough. Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below and see you at the same time next year!