The London-based Restaurant Bar & Design Awards 2022 shortlist has just been announced and this year 24 Australian restaurants, bars, beachside diners and neighbourhood eateries made the cut.
The Australia and Pacific entries include Melbourne’s glowing neon eatery Yakimono; the Victoria flagship for cult dessert makers Black Star Pastry; subterranean cocktail bar Curious (part of the W Melbourne hotel); and 150-seater Aalia, which has a curvaceous timber ceiling using the same grey concave pattern of the iconic Seidler “mushroom” building that the restaurant overlooks.
Pretty, pastel-pink eatery Sunset Diner, in Sydney, is our main contender in the Fast Casual category, while Melbourne’s Aru – which has cosy banquettes and curved timber chairs with all eyes on the 16-metre-long open kitchen – is competing in the Standalone category, alongside Fortitude Valley’s Bianca, where the whole venue is bathed in a peachy glow.
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In fact, Australia has 13 venues in the Standalone section – our strongest category. Melbourne’s Smith St Bistrot, Sydney’s Lana and Grana in former woolstore Hinchcliff House, plus Stomping Ground’s 460-person beer hall in Moorabbin and South Yarra’s striking, angular tea bar Yugen, are all named.
The shortlist was compiled by an international judging panel of designers, editors and hospitality experts, including Merivale’s Emma Palmer, restaurateur Scott Pickett (Smith St Bistro, Longrain, Chancery Lane), and Good Atelier founder Aaron Crinis (Glorietta, Glory Days).
There are 39 categories in total, including Luxury, Lighting, Small Space and Hotel. Sixty-six countries are represented, and of the 277 projects named, Australia is punching above its weight in 13 of those categories.
The category winners will be announced in the week commencing September 5, 2022 on the Awards' Instagram page and website. Winners will be presented with trophies at a two-night ceremony in London in October.