Daana takes the cake as Canberra’s best restaurants revealed

Michael Weaver 13 December 2020 43
Sanjay and Sunita Kumar

Sanjay and Sunita Kumar of Daana restaurant with their three awards. Photo: Supplied

The family-run Daana Indian restaurant at Curtin has taken the cake with three awards at the 2020 NSW/ACT Restaurant and Catering Association Awards for Excellence in Sydney.

At a gala awards ceremony, Daana won ACT’s Consumer Vote award for the second consecutive year, won ACT’s Best Indian/Sub-continent Restaurant for the third consecutive year while chef Sanjay Kumar was named the 2020 ACT Chef of the Year.

Molto Italian at Kingston was named ACT Restaurant of the Year and Italian Restaurant of the Year.

The team at Molto Italian

The team at Molto Italian after an award won in 2019. It was named Canberra’s best restaurant in 2020. Photo: Facebook.

The Awards for Excellence are a nationally recognised, independently judged awards program that celebrates exceptional service and culinary talent across each Australian state and territory. The Awards for Excellence is the only program in Australia where the judging criteria are determined by consumers who rank what is important to them in the dining experience.

An independent team of 280 trained judges secretly visit each venue to determine the restaurant/café winners. Scoring is based on the entire dining experience from food to customer service and the judges dine anonymously.

“What a year to win this,” said chef Sanjay.

“Winning this prestigious award gives us the encouragement to present a more unique dining experience for all our guests. My team has supported me on every step I took to make things better for Daana. A big thanks to all of them.

“Every win comes with raised expectations and I am confident that I will be able to meet them and learn more as we grow Daana further. The future is looking very promising as we move into a new year.”

Sunita Kumar was also named the 2020 Canberra Women in Business Business Woman of the Year in November.

These awards help to confirm that our focus and belief on showcasing Indian cuisine differently is working, not only for myself and Sanjay but also for our team and our guests,” Sunita said.

We are looking forward to a big party to celebrate in the coming weeks.”

The team at Daana now turns its attention to the Canberra Local Businesses Awards on 16 December. Chef Sanjay Kumar is nominated for business person of the year, Daana for best restaurant and Navdeep Kaur, part of Daana’s kitchen team, is nominated for the youth award.


READ ALSO: Sunita Kumar is Canberra’s Business Woman of the Year


Doma Hotels’ Realm Hotel was also named ACT Caterer of the Year and ACT Function/Convention Centre Caterer at the awards. It also received an honourable mention in the ACT wedding caterer category.

Doma Hotels director Patrick Lonergan said the prestigious awards hailed restaurants, cafes and caterers that demonstrated outstanding services, food and beverage.

“We are overwhelmed and delighted with the recognition of achievement by the judges. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our hotels and restaurants,” Mr Lonergan said.

“In particular, we are proud of the title of Caterer of the Year. There is no greater privilege than being chosen to help people and businesses celebrate an important milestone or special occasion, raise money for charity, or hold an event. Our staff care about every aspect of the food they serve at functions of all types and I believe this award is a reflection of their commitment.”

Other ACT eateries to be recognised included Ricardo’s Café at Macquarie which took the best breakfast restaurant title and best coffee shop.

The Tea Room at the Hyatt was named the ACT casual dining restaurant of the year.

The best contemporary Australian restaurant award was taken out by The Boat House at Barton, while the best European restaurant was Blackfire at Braddon which also received an honourable mention as the best tourism restaurant.

Raku in Civic received an honourable mention as the best Japanese restaurant, while the best restaurant in a club was Chatham House Restaurant at the National Press Club at Barton.

The best restaurant in a hotel was Capitol Bar and Grill at QT Canberra, while Olleyville Restaurant at the Shaw Vineyard Estate at Murrumbateman took the gong as the best restaurant in a winery.


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43 Responses to Daana takes the cake as Canberra’s best restaurants revealed
Nicole Brophy Nicole Brophy 8:36 pm 17 Dec 20

Sophie Natasha 2021 hit list 🐷🐷🐷

Marie Wilson Marie Wilson 9:58 pm 16 Dec 20

Sophie Wilson and Clare Wilson ideas!

Anneliese Omary Anneliese Omary 2:08 pm 16 Dec 20

Dean Edwards stop it 🤯 Literally just talking about it!

Carol Louise Stewart Carol Louise Stewart 12:42 pm 16 Dec 20

Some more places for us to go to Alison, Belinda.

    Alison Louise Alison Louise 3:25 pm 16 Dec 20

    Carol Louise Stewart trip to Curtin for the new year

Jane Lloyd Jane Lloyd 10:02 pm 15 Dec 20

Go daana!!!

Lisa Peric Lisa Peric 8:52 pm 15 Dec 20

Love this restaurant! The food is amazing and the staff are wonderful! Congratulations!

Michael Matheson-Deng Michael Matheson-Deng 8:45 pm 15 Dec 20

Toby Luke Brad surely we open a restaurant in our house 🙌

    Luke Stumpf Luke Stumpf 9:40 pm 15 Dec 20

    Michael Matheson-Deng we can ask tomorrow if it’s allowed

Nitish Purohit Nitish Purohit 8:09 pm 15 Dec 20

Had a pleasure to eat “Thali” in Dana on Diwali - wonderful experience. There is one more restaurant I would like to rate and recommend- “Qure” in Bruce- very humble staff, tasty food, you can even customise your order, the chef is great and some good options on tap.

Aaqil Zaheed Aaqil Zaheed 6:37 pm 15 Dec 20

Armaan Kapila you've worked at 2 of the places in this article, think we know where to associate the credit to

Krissy McCombe Krissy McCombe 4:06 pm 15 Dec 20

Celina Lees I still need to go!!

Kushal Ad Kushal Ad 3:47 pm 15 Dec 20

Richa Acharya Hema Bura Magar Bïrën Måhätõ we need to check this place out

Jo Baaten Jo Baaten 3:20 pm 15 Dec 20

Delicious food prepared by incredibly kind and thoughtful owners & team. A big supporter of the community, absolutely thrilled for This result

Sahana Sreenatha Sahana Sreenatha 1:49 pm 15 Dec 20

:O Mihir gotta go back here one night!

Jessica Maree Horton Jessica Maree Horton 1:13 pm 15 Dec 20

Zac Edwards I guess we’ll have to check it out after all!

    Zac Edwards Zac Edwards 1:20 pm 15 Dec 20

    Jessica Maree Horton I can say with confidence that Ricardo's did not deserve best coffee shop lol

    Jessica Maree Horton Jessica Maree Horton 8:53 pm 15 Dec 20

    Zac Edwards hahaha I was talking about Daana 😂😂

Baljit Nagra Baljit Nagra 12:00 pm 15 Dec 20

Despina Panagiotopoulos Gabby Lim surely next place we go?

    Despina Panagiotopoulos Despina Panagiotopoulos 1:27 pm 15 Dec 20

    i endeavour to get butter chicken from every indian restaurant

Von Klein Von Klein 10:40 am 15 Dec 20

Congratulations Olleyville

Rebecca Sews Rebecca Sews 8:02 am 15 Dec 20

Katie here’s a year worth of date locations for you 😄

Gemma Bliss Gemma Bliss 8:01 am 15 Dec 20

Sam Gerami oh no I'm moving and I still haven't been hahaha

Margaret Gojdycz Margaret Gojdycz 7:41 am 15 Dec 20

Luca Fg told you

Lucas Brinkmeyer Lucas Brinkmeyer 7:40 am 15 Dec 20

Duane Brinkmeyer some new places to try

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