New hats for local faves after the Australian Good Food Guide Awards | The Gourmand & Gourmet

New hats for local faves after the Australian Good Food Guide Awards

After hundreds of clean plates, AGFG has announced the recipients of their Chef’s Hat awards for 2019 – and it wasn’t surprising to see so many of our favourites on the list.

The Australian Good Food Guide (AGFG) are proud to call themselves the most comprehensive dining guide in the country, and spend countless hours investigating and sampling food from all over Australia.

A whopping 53 restaurants across Queensland picked up honours at this year’s awards – so make yourself a snack, pour a glass of wine and curl up somewhere comfy – it’s going to be a long list!



The state’s capital is home to almost half of the restaurants on this list which has us brimming with enough hometown pride to completely ignore the results from other states and just assume that Brisbane must be Australia’s new heart of fine dining – better luck next year, Perth!

Deer Duck Bistro, Salon De Co, Alchemy Bar & Restaurant, Sono Portside, Tartufo Ristorante & Bar, Jellyfish Restaurant, Blackbird Bar & Grill and LONgTIME Restaurant & Bar all did Brissy proud, finishing with a very respectable 12 apiece.

Just edging them out with a rating of 13 was Montrachet, E’cco Bistro, 1889 Enoteca, Stokehouse Q and The Euro. Well done lads!

Stepping up a rank is GOMA Restaurant, Gauge, The Wolfe and Otto Brisbane with a score of 14 each, followed by Southbank’s glamorous poolside restaurant and bar, Bacchus and the chic Fortitude Valley base of flavourful, Middle Eastern taste, Gerard’s Bistro; both boasting a very impressive score of 15.

Not one, but two Brisbane restaurants cracked the elusive 16-point-mark this year. With a dedication to diverse dining and game-changing seven-course degustations, Urbane have earned their place atop this list.

Also joining the illustrious 16 Hat club is the Matt Moran creation ARIA, whose glorious rib eye on the bone for two has brought more people together than a cat chasing a laser pointer.


Gold Coast

Queensland’s famous home of golden sand and fake tan can add 12 more reasons why it’s a must-stop for anyone travelling through the sunshine state after an impressive showing at this year’s awards.

Nero Dining, Fu Manchu Oriental Kitchen, Social Eating House & Bar, The Fish House, The North Room, nineteen at The Star and Rick Shores all had breakout years, finishing with a score of 12.

Not to be outdone was Videre, Vanitas and Restaurant Labart, each bringing home 13 point Chef’s Hats for the people of the Gold Coast to wear with pride.

With a set menu that boasts some of the best Japanese cuisine in the state, there’s absolutely no question that the Star’s Kiyomi deserves all 14 of their points, however, it wasn’t quite enough to claim the title of the Gold Coast’s highest-rated restaurant this year.  

That honour belongs to Room81 at the Sofitel, Broadbeach who earned a fantastic 15 points for their mammoth twelve-course tasting set celebrating modern Australian dining.


Sunshine Coast

Leaving the south-east and heading north, The Sunshine Coast welcomed their own collection of much-needed sun protection with 10 restaurants across the region picking up some well-deserved hats to complement their chill vibes and blue skies.

Locale Noosa, Spice Bar, Ricky’s River Bar & Restaurant, Noosa Waterfront Restaurant, Noosa Beach House Peter Kuruvita and Embassy XO all have plenty of reason to celebrate after earning 12 points each.

Big props to The Spirit House Restaurant and The Tamarind Restaurant for each being awarded scores of 13 after an incredible year but save some love for Montville’s serene and vintage escape, The Long Apron, who blew everybody away and nabbed 15 points in the process.

Taking out the Sunny Coast’s top spot and receiving the super impressive distinction of being the only other Queensland restaurant to break the barrier into the 16 point club, is Noosa’s Wasabi Restaurant & Bar. Order from the “Omakase” menu and let Wasabi’s chef’s blow your mind with their signature take on modern, Japanese dining, all made from ingredients grown on their local farm. Congrats Wasabi!

Would people from the Sunshine Coast be annoyed if we pointed out how many of their best restaurants are in Noosa?


Regional Queensland

Determined to find the absolute best of the best, the Australian Good Food Guide travelled far and wide to taste everything that the state had to offer, and we’re pleased to report that they found some gems nestled in the red dirt and sandy shores of regional Queensland.

Hervey Bay, Orpheus Island, Airlie Beach and Townsville can all now claim to be home to AGFG 12-pointed Chef Hats, with Coast Restaurant & Bar, Orpheus Island Lodge, Hemmingway’s, Jam and A Touch of Salt all receiving the honours this year.

Taking it a step further is Pebble Beach, Tamarind and Chapter One Restaurant & Bar, making the far north Queensland’s unofficial home of 13-point dining.

While you’re up there, you’ll have to check out the North’s only 14-point eatery; Nu Nu Restaurant. The Cairns humidity is a small price to pay to partake in a delicious pineapple and turmeric curry of wild ginger pork belly.

We’re almost done, but not before we talk about one of Queensland’s best-kept secrets. Head west to Maryvale and you’ll find one more 14-point restaurant waiting: The Peak Restaurant at Spicers Peak Lodge. The menu changes daily with chefs knowing exactly how to unleash the flavour of all of their locally grown produce. It might be time for a road trip!


We did it! Big congratulations to all of the winners, you’ve made us all proud. We’ll see you next year!

Words by Josh Schultz
- the gourmand who doesn’t know what to do with all of these hats. Seriously, stop!