Two Australian eateries have jointly taken out the Best Restaurant Design category in this year’s Eat Drink Design Awards. The winners, Sydney’s minimalist Poly (Anthony Gill Architects) and sensory farmhouse Osteria Tedesca (Cox Architecture), in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, were recognised for their show-stopping interior design.

Melbourne’s There Cafe (Ewert Leaf) took out Best Cafe Design category. Judges said it made sensitive use of its heritage location in a converted 19th-century wool store. And it's been a good week for Adelaide’s Leigh Street Wine Room (Studio -Gram). The natural-wine bar, housed in a former drycleaner, won the Eat Drink Design Awards Best Bar Design category a couple days after it was named one of the top places to drink vino in the country by Wineslinger (in June it also got the Best of State Commercial Design award in the 2020 Australian Interior Design Awards).

The annual Eat Drink Design Awards recognise the country’s best interior design in bars, restaurants, cafes, retail spaces and more. The shortlist was released in August, and last night the winners were announced via a virtual event.

The chairperson of the Eat Drink Design Awards and Artichoke editor Cassie Hansen tells Broadsheet this is not the first time there were two winners in the restaurant class. “It was such a strong category and the quality of design work was incredible. We could see that both the winning projects had similar ambitions – to create a timeless destination dining experience – in very different locations and in different styles.

“In the end, we couldn’t split them because both intelligently responded to its site, were beautifully resolved and created a memorable experience for the diner. It was winning design in two very disparate parts of Australia.”

Melbourne’s Gin Palace (Skidmark Design and Garner David Architects) was inducted into the Hall Of Fame, with the judges saying it’s fitting to recognise its longevity and contribution to Melbourne’s bar culture in a year that's seen the industry so knocked about. It was also a good time to pay respect to bar pioneering Vernon Chalker, who opened Gin Palace in 1997 and sadly passed this year.

Two venues within Sydney’s Darling Square precinct were also recognised. Darling Exchange’s Makers Dozen, a modern reboot of a food court, won Best Retail Design (Anthony Gill Architects and Lendlease Design); while The Colour Club's branding for nearby Dopa won Best Identity Design.

Sydney’s Orana pop-up residence took out Best Installation Design and finally, the Tattersalls Hotel Armidale (Luchetti Krelle) won Best Hotel Design.

Interested in seeing who won in 2019? See the winners here.