BEST IN AUSTRALIA: Chefs Zeb Gilbert and Jiro Numata helped Wasabi become Australia’s top Japanese restaurant.
BEST IN AUSTRALIA: Chefs Zeb Gilbert and Jiro Numata helped Wasabi become Australia’s top Japanese restaurant. John Mccutcheon

It's official! We have Australia's best Japanese food

FOUR Sunshine Coast eateries have starred in this year's Gourmet Traveller Australian Restaurant Awards.

Noosa's Wasabi Restaurant and Bar was the big player, coming in as the best Japanese restaurant in Australia, No.2 in the regional Queensland and No.45 overall in Australia.

Others in the Queensland regional top 10 were The Long Apron at No.4, berardo's at five and The Spirit House at nine.

"This is fantastic," Wasabi owner Danielle Gjestland said. "It's the highest ranking we've ever had.

"We've been sitting at No.2 Japanese restaurant for years and to get over the line is pretty fantastic.

"But it won't change what we do at the restaurant. You are only as good as the last plate of food you served."

Also delighted was Hastings St owner Jim Berardo.

"We are very happy for our chef Tim Montgomery," he said. "He is an extraordinary chef and it's great for him to be recognised.

"I am really excited that we have four Sunshine Coast restaurants in the Top 10 regional awards."

Chef Cameron Matthews at The Long Apron in Montville, who long ago lost count of the number of awards the restaurant has won, was delighted.

"It's awesome to see the Sunshine Coast represented," he said. "We are getting stronger and stronger."

The Spirit House at Yandina, also no stranger to awards having notched up scores of accolades over its 20 years, said awards were still important to them.

"They are good for the staff," owner Helen Brierty said.

"They are a vindication that the staff are trying their hardest and, most of the time, succeeding.

"To win something by people who know what they are talking about, professional people who know what to look for in a restaurant, carries weight."

Judges spent six months trawling the country armed with their knives and forks visiting the tried-and-true as well as the newcomers in the industry to come up with their list of award winners.


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