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Hotel Realm takes top honour at Restaurant & Catering awards

Karyn Starmer 31 October 2019
The award-winning team from Hotel Realm

The award-winning team from Hotel Realm: Fabien Wagnon, James Lightbody, Cherie Kahlefeldt, Thomas Craigie and Justin Higgins. Photos: George Tsotsos, Region Media.

Hotel Realm in Barton has won gold at Restaurant & Catering Australia’s prestigious 2019 Awards for Excellence.

The Canberra hotel was named the National Function/Convention Centre Caterer of the year at the National Awards Gala Dinner held on Monday in Brisbane.

“We are thrilled to be a national winner in the prestigious National Restaurant & Catering Australia’s Awards for Excellence,” Hotel Realm general manager Justin Higgins said.

“We were fairly confident our work would be recognised, but when the moment came, being awarded the national winner was fantastic. The staff were all smiles when they found out we had won; it is a wonderful recognition for our kitchen and front-of-house staff for their passion in striving for excellence.

“I am very proud of our highly dedicated and hard-working team.”

The Restaurant & Catering Australia’s Awards for Excellence are a nationally recognised, independently judged awards program that recognises exceptional service and culinary talent in restaurants, cafes and catering across Australia.

The awards are judged by an independent team of trained judges who visit the venues to determine the winners across 40 categories. The scores are based on the entire dining experience from food to the customer service experienced when the judges visit the venue.

“We are judged on what we do every day and we do our work really well. So when the judges were here observing our work, from set up and preparation to food, service and pack down, the day was really no different for us. Our reputation is on the line for every event,” Mr Higgins explained.

“We are very proud to win this national award and gain national recognition for Canberra.”

Restaurant & Catering Australia’s annual awards also recognised Canberra as home to the top Japanese and Chinese restaurants in the country.

Staff at Raku Dining under head chef Hao Chen in the Canberra Centre are ‘over the moon’ after winning gold in the Japanese Restaurant category.

Manager Nick Clarke said the restaurant was rewarded for the consistency and quality of their food and service.

He described Raku as a modern Japanese restaurant with quality European touches that served a broad clientele from uni students to young professionals to retirees.

Mr Clarke said he could not say what was the most popular dish on the menu with so many strong sellers and crowd favourites.

Not far away in Casino Canberra, Natural Nine also struck gold.  Described as a ‘Pop Chinese’ restaurant with a modern Australian twist, it is also the only restaurant in Canberra to offer Pop Yum Cha seven day a week.

The Trippas White Group won the Site/Industrial Caterer award for the Australian Institute of Sport in Bruce, and the Venue Caterer award for Poppy’s Cafe and The Landing Place Cafe at the Australian War Memorial.

Restaurant & Catering Australia is the national association representing the interests of 35,000 restaurants and catering businesses across Australia.  To view the full list of category winners in the 2019 National Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence, visit www.rca.asn.au/rca.

To learn more about Hotel Realm, visit www.hotelrealm.com.au.

Hotel Realm's Fabien Wagnon

Hotel Realm’s Fabien Wagnon.


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