By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

In the first national format of the Good Food Guide awards, Australian pubs have proven that excellent food offerings come in many guises.

Known for its focus on provenance-driven modern Italo-Australian food under the guidance of executive chef Monty Koludrovic, The Dolphin has retained its hat just over a year after opening.

Koludrovic was very happy with the achievement, highlighting that a casual offering does not have to sacrifice quality.

“It’s amazing to have the intent and fun philosophy of the hotel recognised by the Good Food Guide. It’s a great pat on the back for all the crew.

“We always wanted it to be a venue of quality product and clever delivery, two important values in any and all of our venues. Whether it’s a hotel, pizzeria or fine diner.”

Several pubs received a hat, including Bellevue and The Paddington in Sydney; Highline at the Railway Hotel in Melbourne; and Lalla Rookh in Perth.

The Paddington was one of nine Merivale venues that received hats, and Solotel’s Aria Brisbane was awarded Wine List of the Year.

This the 38th year that the Good Food Guide has been published, and the first year in which the Guide has gone national, rather than state by state. Good Food Guide co-editor, Rosalyn Grundy, said the change to one national guide had meant that a wider range of venues had been included in the guide.

“With the Guide going national in 2018, it’s been great to expand our scope to recognise restaurants, bars, cafes and chefs throughout Australia.”

James Hird, wine director of The Dolphin Hotel, was glad to see the pub’s team recognised for their efforts in delivering an offering comparable with any restaurant in the country.

“It’s great for the Dolphin Hotel team to get some recognition. It’s an amazing group of people working phenomenally hard and for a pub dining room it’s really great to see such positive reviews.”

The full list of venues awarded hats can be found here.

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