Wollongong seaside restaurant Steamers Bar and Grill in Marine Drive has taken out the NSW Region - Contemporary Australian Restaurant category at the 2019 NSW Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence.
Steamers was one of two Wollongong eateries to win statewide regional restaurant awards at The Star in Sydney.
The other was Figtree Gourmet Kitchen which won the award for best pizza restaurant.
The Shaggy Cow in Mittagong also did the region proud picking up the Breakfast Restaurant Award and Cafe Dining Award before being named Regional Restaurant of the Year for NSW.
Rick Stein of Bannisters in Mollymook was named best tourism restaurant and further down the South Coast Merimbula Aquarium & Wharf Restaurant took out the family dining category for regional NSW.
Steamers Bar and Grill managing director Jim Eddy said the Contemporary Australia Restaurant Award reflected a culmination of great effort from an inspiring team of people.
Mr Eddy said that started from the interpretation of the brief submitted to interior designers The Lion & The Leek at the very conception of the restaurant.
And continued with the front-of-house staff led by restaurant manager and in-house sommerlier Romain Bastianel and his partner Majdouline Dahbi to the kitchen crew with executive chef Paul Hamilton at the helm.
"Steamers Bar and Grill has brought something innovative unique to Wollongong," Mr Hamilton said.
"From cultivating our own fresh produce at our farm in Jamberoo to butchering, dry-aging meats and our wood fired grill.
"It recognises our passion for creating a truly memorable dining experience."
Mr Bastianel said the thing most meaningful to about the win was that the category recognised "informal" restaurants.
"What that says about Steamers Bar and Grill is that our restaurant is accessible to all; we uphold excellence in a casual, inviting space," he said.
R&CA chief executive Wes Lambert said Steamers Bar and Grill and other winners will now compete with other finalists at the National Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane on October 28.
NSW REGIONAL RESTAURANT AWARDS
- ASIAN RESTAURANT Sponsored by Prospa WINNER - Nagisa Japanese Restaurant, NEWCASTLE
- BEER CAFÉ/WINE BAR Sponsored by OneMusic WINNER - Grain Store Newcastle, NEWCASTLE EAST
- BREAKFAST RESTAURANT Sponsored by H&L Australia WINNER - The Shaggy Cow, MITTAGONG
- CAFÉ DINING Sponsored by Deputy WINNER - The Shaggy Cow, MITTAGONG
- COFFEE SHOP/TEA HOUSE Sponsored by Deputy WINNER - Coffee Niche, WAGGA WAGGA
- CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN RESTAURANT - FORMAL Sponsored by American Express WINNER - Circa 1876, POKOLBIN
- CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN RESTAURANT - INFORMAL Sponsored by American Express WINNER - Steamers Bar & Grill, WOLLONGONG
- FAMILY DINING RESTAURANT Sponsored by Menulog WINNER - Merimbula Aquarium & Wharf Restaurant, MERIMBULA
- INDIAN/SUB-CONTINENT RESTAURANT Sponsored by Menulog WINNER - Indian Tandoori Restaurant, ALBURY
- ITALIAN RESTAURANT Sponsored by TheFork - A TripAdvisor Company HONOURABLE MENTION - Il Cacciatore Restaurant, POKOLBIN
- PIZZA RESTAURANT Sponsored by Sanpellegrino WINNER - Figtree Gourmet Kitchen, FIGTREE
- RESTAURANT IN A HOTEL/RESORT Sponsored by Malt Shovel WINNER - Seasalt - Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific, TERRIGAL
- RESTAURANT IN A PUB/CLUB/TAVERN Sponsored by Malt Shovel WINNER - The Valley Restaurant - Easts Leisure and Golf, EAST MAITLAND
- RESTAURANT IN A WINERY Sponsored by TheFork - A TripAdvisor Company WINNER - Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant, POKOLBIN
- SEAFOOD RESTAURANT Sponsored by Entertainment Publications WINNER - The Wild Herring at The Anchorage Hotel & Spa Port Stephens, CORLETTE
- SMALL BAR Sponsored by OneMusic WINNER - Battlesticks Bar, NEWCASTLE
- STEAK RESTAURANT Sponsored by H&L Australia WINNER - The Cottage, SCONE
- TOURISM RESTAURANT Sponsored by Malt Shovel WINNER - Rick Stein at Bannisters, MOLLYMOOK BEACH
- RESTAURATEUR OF THE YEAR - WINNER - Mark Jensen - Red Lantern
- YOUNG ACHIEVER WINNER - Josh Niland - St Peter
- LIFETIME ACHIEVER WINNER - Sam Christie - Longrain
- CATERER OF THE YEAR - REGIONAL Sponsored by Malt Shovel WINNER - Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, LOVEDALE
- CATERER OF THE YEAR - SYDNEY Sponsored by Malt Shovel WINNER - Australian Turf Club - Rosehill Gardens, ROSEHILL
- CAFÉ OF THE YEAR - REGIONAL Sponsored by Alsco WINNER - The Shaggy Cow, MITTAGONG
- CAFÉ OF THE YEAR - SYDNEY Sponsored by Alsco WINNER - The Laneway Café, CAMMERAY
- RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR - REGIONAL Sponsored by Hostplus WINNER - The Cottage, SCONE
- RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR - SYDNEY Sponsored by Hostplus WINNER - Tetsuya's, SYDNEY