The Food Geek Awards – 2012

* Click here to view the 2013 Food Geek Awards (03/01/2014) *

I didn’t make a ‘Best Of’ post last year as I wasn’t really taking the blog seriously enough back then. Also, I think it would have been dominated by my trips to L’Enclume & Noma anyway.

This year I was certain I wanted to do something but as i’m a few days late and have already read many ‘best of’ posts I wanted to do something a little bit different.

So welcome to the first annual (maybe) Food Geek Awards.

There are 14 awards ranging from individual dishes, to best service and best overall dining experience. For each i’ve picked my top 3 in reverse order and have also linked to my review for the relevant dish/restaurant.

Whilst the vast majority of my dining experiences in 2012 were hugely positive, there were a few exceptions so i’ve created a couple of ‘Worst’ awards as well.

Best Side / Snack

3rd: Deep Fried Pickle Spears (Southern Eleven)
2nd: Home Made Pickles (Yuzu)

1st: Scotch Egg (The Hinds Head)

Scotch Egg

Best Starter

3rd: Pulled Pork Sundae (Solita)
2nd: Soused Mackerel with Cucumber, Pickled Lemon and Horseradish (The Hinds Head)

1st: Meat Fruit (Dinner By Heston)

Meat Fruit

Best Main Course

3rd: Saddle Of Venison, Beetroot Soubise, Risotto of Spelt and Umbles (The Fat Duck)
2nd: Waldorf Salad (Restaurant Sat Bains)

1st: Lobster Baked Hake with Hand & Flowers Carrot, Pumpkin Seeds and Lardo (The Hand & Flowers)

Lobster Baked Hake, Carrot, Pumpkin Seeds & Lardo

Best Dessert

3rd: Raspberry Soufflé with Buttermilk Sorbet and Toasted Oat Cream (The Hand & Flowers)
2nd: Tipsy Cake (Dinner By Heston)

1st: Sweetcorn, Miso, Passionfruit (Restaurant Sat Bains)

Sweetcorn Miso Dessert

Best Festive Dish

3rd: Miracle Sandwich (Miracle On High Street)
2nd: Mince Pie Ice Cream (Solita)

1st: Christmas Pudding (Aumbry)

Christmas Pudding

Best Tasting Menu

3rd: Restaurant Sat Bains
2nd: Aumbry Festive Tasting Menu

1st: The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck

Best Cocktail

3rd: ‘Candy Cane Collins’ (Miracle On High Street)
2nd: ‘Yuzu Sake’ (Yuzu, Manchester)

1st: Custom Made – Vodka, Cumin, Passionfruit (Pollen Street Social)

Pollen St Social - Custom Cocktail

Best ‘Fine-Dining’ Restaurant

3rd: Dinner By Heston, London
2nd: Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

1st: The Fat Duck, Bray

The Fat Duck

Best ‘Casual Dining’ Restaurant

3rd: Jimmy’s Farm Restaurant, Ipswich.
2nd: Burger & Lobster, London.

1st: Solita, Manchester.


Best Authentic Cuisine Restaurant

3rd: Italia, Manchester (Italian)
2nd: Bodega Dos de Mayo, Seville, Spain (Spanish)

1st: Yuzu, Manchester (Japanese)

Yuzu, Manchester

Best Service

3rd: Aumbry
2nd: Restaurant Sat Bains

1st: The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck

Best Overall Dining Experience

3rd: Dinner By Heston
2nd: The Hinds Head

1st: The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck


Worst Dish

3rd: Christmas Tiramisu with mascarpone & Limoncello (Jamie’s Italian, Manchester)
2nd: Banana Fritters (Nam Ploy, Bolton)

1st: Habanero Burger (Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Trafford Centre)

Habenero Burger

Worst Overall Dining Experience

3rd: Momentum Restaurant, Westhoughton, Bolton.
2nd: Gourmet Burger, Trafford Centre.

1st: Taps Bar & Restaurant, Manchester.

Taps, Manchester

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  1. As promised here are my ratings:-

    Best snack:-
    3.Garbage chicken wings – Little Venice, Trumansburg
    2. Crisps & Balamic Dip – The Stagg Inn, Titley
    1. Ham Croquetas – Esquina, Singapore

    Best starter
    3. Valley Venison tartare – L’Enclume
    1= Soused mackerel – Hind’s Head & Cheese dumplings – L’Enclume & Roganic

    Best Main
    3. Wild Sea TRout with Qunioa – Lumiere
    2. Heel of Beef – John Salt
    1. Squab Pigeon with Girolles – Lumiere

    Best Dessert
    3. Mess of blackberries – Hind’s Head, Bray
    2. Mojito – Castle House, Hereford
    1. Milk Chocolate, Peanut & Blackcurrant – Gwynnett St, Brooklyn

    Best Festive Dish.
    None – The US doesn’t really do festive food.

    Best Tasting Menu
    3. The Tippling Club, Singapore
    2. Lumiere, Cheltenham
    1. L’Enclume, Cartmel

    Best Cocktail
    3. S.W.V. – Longman & Eagle, Chicago
    2. Marmalade Vodka Martini – Lumiere
    1. ALN – Kin Shop, New York

    Best Fine Dining Restaurant
    3. Medlar, London
    2. Eleven Madison Park, New York
    1. L’Enclume, Cartmel

    Best Casual Dining Restaurant
    3. Chez Casimir, Paris
    2. Chez L’Ami Jean, Paris
    1. Esquina, Singapore

    Best Authentic Cuisine
    3. Tamarind, Ithaca (Thai)
    2. Da Dong Beijing (Chinese)
    1. Jungsik, Seoul (Korean)

    Best Service
    3. Eleven Madison Park, New York
    2. Roganic, London
    1. Medlar, London

    Best Overall Dining Experience
    3. Eleven Madison Park, New York
    2. The Tippling Club, Singapore
    1. L’Enclume, Cartmel

    Worst Dish
    3. Cream of Tomato, Mushroom & Lamb Soup – The Heights, Ithaca
    2. Kowloon Adventure – Kowloon, Boston
    1. Squid Ink Risotto – IPO, Chicago

    Worst Overall Dining Experience
    3. P.J. Whelihan’s, Lehighton
    2. IPO, Chicago
    1. Kowloon, Boston

    • Thanks for your comment and apologies for the delay in approving it!

      Very interesting to read your ratings, you obviously get around a lot more than I do but I’ve added a couple of London places to my list based on your opinions :)

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