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The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times
Karen Hardy

Canberra's best restaurant of the year has been named

Clement Chauvin's Les Bistronomes won three awards including best restaurant of the year. Picture by Gary Ramage

It's almost as though Canberra Times' restaurant reviewer Chris Hansen predicted the future when he called Les Bistronomes "one of our best dining experiences, full stop" in a recent review.

The Campbell restaurant was named the ACT's best in the 2023 Restaurant and Catering Awards on September 4, taking out best restaurant, best European and the premium dining awards.

In his review, where he scored Les Bistronomes a solid 16, Hansen said, "The real Les Bistronomes magic is in the connection between back and front of house, where the energy, hustle and ambience all come together and the team delivers as one."

The other big winner on the night was The Ginger Group at the National Arboretum who won best function/venue caterer, best wedding caterer and caterer of the year.

Capitol Bar and Grill at QT Canberra won best restaurant in a hotel/resort and best steak restaurant. Picture supplied

The annual Awards for Excellence program formally recognises hospitality operators across a broad range of categories who consistently provide exceptional service and demonstrate culinary excellence in their respective fields.

Restaurant and Catering Association chief executive officer Suresh Manickam congratulated each of the winners on behalf of the association, recognising their significant contributions to the ACT's hospitality sector.

"We are extremely pleased with the culinary expertise and high standard of service this year's winners provide," he said.

"The association feels an immense amount of pride to represent an industry that provides such enormous contributions to Australia's culinary arts scene, and to formally recognise the very best of each state and territory."

Sunita and Sanjay Kumar from Daana won best Indian restaurant. Picture by Keegan Carroll

No doubt, one popular win went to long-standing association members Sunita and Sanjay Kumar at Daana who won best Indian restaurant. In July, the couple announced their plans to close the restaurant after seven years in Curtin. The last service will be September 16.

"Although exhausting and fraught with many challenges, our journey has been both extraordinary and highly fulfilling, and we have made so many friends for life along the way," Sunita said at the time.

Stella's at the Lake in Belconnen was named among our furry friend friendly venues in July. "This cafe near Lake Ginninderra does a roaring doggy trade. They have a pup-only menu with a peanut butter bacon doughnut," we said.

It's restaurant award season. On August 22, Gourmet Traveller named Onzieme as Canberra's best. Bar Rochford, Morks, Pilot and Such and Such were the other ACT restaurants to make the nation's top 95.

The Restaurant and Catering Awards are the only industry awards with an independent judging system with more than 250 judges reporting to state judge chairs and a national chief judge. A restaurant must be a member of the association to qualify.

Other winners include:

Best Asian: Raku, City

Best breakfast restaurant: Bunny Beans Cafe, Holt

Best cafe dining: Stella's by the Lake, Belconnen

Best contemporary Australian: The Boat House, Barton

Best European: Les Bistronomes, Campbell

Best Indian: Daana, Curtin

Best Italian: Brunello, City

Best steak restaurant: Capitol Bar and Grill, QT Canberra, City

Best restaurant in a hotel/resort: Capitol Bar and Grill, QT Canberra, City

Best restaurant in a pub/club: Chatham House Restaurant, National Press Club, Barton

Best function/events caterer: The Ginger Group, National Arboretum Canberra, Weston Creek

Best site/industrial caterer: TWG Hospitality Services at Canberra Grammar School, Red Hill

Best wedding caterer: The Ginger Group, National Arboretum Canberra, Weston Creek

Caterer of the year: The Ginger Group, National Arboretum Canberra, Weston Creek

Restaurant of the year: Les Bistronomes, Campbell

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