The Boat House and Aubergine have been recognised as Canberra's best restaurants in the recent Australian Good Food Guide awards. Both restaurants received a score of 15, ahead of Otis Dining Hall (14), Monster Kitchen and Bar (13), Pilot (13), Grazing (13) and Raku Dining, Les Bistronomes, Courgette, Italian and Sons, Vincent, Morks, Temporada, Bar Rochford and EightySix (all 12).
The restaurants are scored by independent judges associated with the national travel guide which has been running since 1977. The website agfg.com.au was launched in 1999.
James Souter, director of The Boat House, said the award was recognition of "the good vibes and memorable dining experiences that we enjoy with our guests".
"Our restaurant and new pop up bar have played a key part in keeping our business open and running during this difficult period and it's been made all the easier by our amazing customers who have continued to support us," he said.
The guide said few would have ever anticipated a year where such a volume of Australia's restaurants would be forced to close their doors.
"Fewer still would believe that the saving grace of so many of country's top Chefs, would be the humble takeaway," a spokesman said.
"The devastation caused by catastrophic fires and restrictions required to curb the spread of COVID-19 have left no restaurant unaffected, but the consequences have certainly been far more ruinous for some."
The guide recognised the field has not been level. "This year's awards are a credit to the phenomenal efforts of those who have managed to endure, but in no way take away from the incredible efforts and creativity of some of those forced into closure."
It conceded too that lockdown and border restrictions obstructed the judges' efforts this past year, and acknowledged that they had not visited as many restaurants as they otherwise would have liked.
"In our pursuit of the country's best restaurants notwithstanding, the support by the Australian dining public has been nothing but extraordinary, with their generous willingness to support and help identify venues worthy of chef hat consideration."
For a full list of national winners head to agfg.com.au