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September 29, 2022
| gourmet traveller names canberra's best restaurant | 2

Pilot owners Ross McQuinn and Dash Rumble. Picture by Ashley St George

Looking for the best of the best when going out for dinner this weekend?

The restaurant was among the winners announced at a gala event in Sydney on Tuesday evening.

Gourmet Traveller said that while COVID had caused chaos at some restaurants, Pilot “is soaring; confident, playful and polished”.

“A move to a blind, 10-course dégustation menu has only sharpened the focus of chef Malcolm Hanslow and his team, as they prepare each Goldilocks-sized portion with precision,” it said.

“The kitchen and floor staff work in harmony to deliver a perfectly paced experience that never feels rushed – but will have you promptly out the door in two hours flat, even with relaxed banter between courses.

“… The balance is always playful and precise, much like the service and natty wine list. In short? Top Gun.”

In The Canberra Times‘ most recent review of Pilot, Chris Hansen said the restaurant “don’t just cook food. They research it, source it, taste it, adapt it, refine it, produce it and then repeat it. And that’s just on one evening.”

“This is a restaurant that mixes it with the best in the country. It’s not a cheap date night but the value is there. Canberra should be proud of what owners Dash Rumble and Ross McQuinn have attempted and are indeed achieving,” he wrote.

“The menu is set at seven courses, $130 per head and they know what we can’t or don’t wish to eat. Everyone eats the same base menu, the wine list is prolifically all Australian and you can match wines for $90, non-alcoholic drinks for $50 or you can BYO a special bottle, with a corkage fee of $60.”

Pilot isn’t the only local restaurant picking up awards recently.

As well as announcing the best restaurants from other states and territories, South Australia’s Restaurant Botanic took out the top honour at this year’s Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards.

Neil Perry, Shannon Martinez, Ben Shewry, Brigitte Haffner, and Andrew McConnell were among the chefs to attend the event. It was a night of double celebration for Perry, whose Double Bay diner Margaret was named both Best New Restaurant and the NSW state winner of Restaurant of the Year.

Tasmania claimed Best Destination Dining for Van Bone in Marion Bay, while Hobart’s Fico was named the state winner. In South Australia, Restaurant Botanic claimed both the state prize while the creative duo behind Willunga wine bar Muni – Mug Chen and Chia Wu – were named Best New Talent.

From Victoria, Thi Le was voted Chef of the Year in the night’s only peer-voted category, while Shannon Martinez was named Restaurant Personality of Year. Tedesca Osteria was named the state winner for the second year in a row.

Gold Coast wine bar Paloma was singled out as the Wine Bar of the Year, while Essa was awarded the state prize for Queensland.

Perth’s Lulu La Delizia took out the award for Western Australia.

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Amy martin

As the lifestyle reporter, I love finding out what makes people tick and giving insight into the different ways that you can enjoy the city we live in. Email:

As the lifestyle reporter, I love finding out what makes people tick and giving insight into the different ways that you can enjoy the city we live in. Email:

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