In a big win for fans of banh mi en croute, contemporary fine diner Aru has taken out top honours at the 2023 Good Food Guide Awards.
Aru opened on Little Collins Street in 2021 and quickly won a following for Khanh Nguyen’s elegant, savvy takes on Southeast Asian flavours, building on the success of sister restaurant Sunda and adding fire to the equation. (Among some of its more notable followers: Nigella Lawson, a repeat visitor during this year’s Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.) Aru was named Restaurant of the Year from a field of heavy-hitting finalists, including Gimlet, Navi, O.My, Vue de Monde, Filipino sensation Serai, and Grill Americano.
The 2023 Guide also marks the return of the hats after a three-year hiatus, with some notable movers among the results.
Hugh Allen’s towering Vue de Monde was restored to three hats, joining elite company in Birregurra’s Brae and precision omakase restaurant Minamishima as the only restaurants to receive maximum hatting. Newcomer Yugen was awarded two hats after opening just one month ago, while Jung Eun Chae’s regional Korean favourite Chae and Chris Lucas’s ritzy Society were also awarded two hats for the first time.
For the full list of winners, hats and hearts – a new rating in 2023’s Guide – head to goodfood.com.au.
By Frank Sweet