Melbourne restaurants win big in Eat Drink Design Awards 2016

Timeless Melbourne restaurant Il Bacaro.
Timeless Melbourne restaurant Il Bacaro. Photo: Supplied

Melbourne restaurants have taken out four of the top six spots at the Eat Drink Design Awards, an annual celebration of Australian and New Zealand design excellence.

Fresh from winning Cafe of the Year in The Age Good Food Guide 2017 awards, Higher Ground (designed by DesignOffice) received the Best Cafe Design honour. The lofty former power station in the CBD has been likened to a high-end hotel lobby, with spaces arranged on various levels.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (designed by Bates Smart), in the spot temporarily occupied by the Fat Duck, was awarded Best Restaurant Design. The judges described the design as "squishy", allowing diners to sink into the deep comfort of the interior, both literally and conceptually.

Design judges described Dinner by Heston Blumenthal as 'squishy'.
Design judges described Dinner by Heston Blumenthal as 'squishy'. Photo: Supplied

Lune Croissanterie (designed by Studio Esteta), which moved from Elwood to Fitzroy last year, won the Best Retail Design. The design centres around the Cube, a climate-controlled glass box dropped into a 400-square metre former warehouse, where the cult croissants are made.

Timeless CBD restaurant Il Bacaro, designed by Chris Connell Design, was inducted into the Eat Drink Design Awards' Hall of Fame. Hidden behind dark timber venetian blinds, the atmospheric dining room remains largely unchanged since it opened in 1995.

Pink Moon Saloon in Adelaide, designed by up-and-coming Sans-Arc Studio, won both the Best Bar Design and Best Identity Design awards.

Pink Moon Saloon, Adelaide.
Pink Moon Saloon, Adelaide. Photo: Supplied

The judges praised the cubby house-size bar, wedged between two office buildings in a former rubbish bin alley in central Adelaide, as "simultaneously audaciously ambitious and modest".

The Eat Drink Design Awards are judged by industry heavyweights interior designer Hamish Guthrie (director of Hecker Guthrie), interior architect Adele Winteridge (Foolscap Studio), Sydney Morning Herald chief restaurant critic Terry Durack, food and lifestyle publisher Julie Gibbs, and Cameron Bruhn (editorial director at Architecture Media), and are open to hospitality businesses that have been open to the public for the past 18 months.

Full list of winners available at