Time Out Melbourne names its Restaurant of the Year

Published on September 3 2019.

Photo: Oakridge Estate's saffron tagliatelle, smoked tomato ricotta (credit: Jason Loucas)

Two regional stars take out top honours, while great Asian dining cleans up in the city.

Time Out has announced the winners of its Melbourne restaurant awards for 2019. Restaurant of the Year isn’t in Melbourne at all, in fact, but rather the Yarra Valley. Jo Barrett and Matt Stone’s commitment to sustainability at Oakridge Estate wowed the magazine’s critics almost as much as their cooking. Time Out describes the restaurant as “a gentle interrogation not only of winery dining but the way all restaurants should be looking to minimise waste while maximising taste”. Best New Restaurant, meanwhile, was awarded to another establishment well outside Zone One: “velvet-gloved industry disruptor” Greasy Zoe’s, at Hurstbridge. “A bird-flip to multi-million-dollar fitouts and the vapid chase for food fashion … something timeless, and enduring, and… well, just bloody delicious.” (Also: $85 for eight courses!)

Back in the city, Fitzroy favourite Napier Quarter picked up Best Casual Dining, Kazuki’s new Carlton location took out the Best Fine Dining gong, and Carlton scored again with Best Café going to Ima Project, while Mr Lee’s Foods in Ringwood East won Best Cheap Eats for its pork-centric Korean menu. Thi Le, of Anchovy, was named Chef of the Year, and the Legend Award honoured The Grossi family, noting that the family “is so deeply enmeshed in Melbourne’s restaurant DNA it would be impossible to chart all the people who have passed through their doors professionally and emerged the better for it”.

Our congratulations to all the winners and finalists.

Grab the new issue of Time Out for more, or hop onto timeout.com/melbourne