South West restaurants earn gold plates

Dining in the South West is officially a golden experience after three restaurants in the region claimed prestigious state-wide awards.

Busselton’s Laundry 43, Dunsborough’s Piari and Co, and Yallingup’s Rivendell Winery Restaurant all won Gold Plate titles at the 51st Kleenheat Gold Plate Awards.

The annual event celebrates quality and service in the WA restaurant sector.

Finalists in 29 categories were anonymously judged by a strict criteria, with the winners awarded for their excellence.

Laundry 43 won the Licensed Casual Dining Regional category, a category hotly contested in the South West with Yallingup’s Caves House, Eagle Bay’s Lot 80 and Piari and Co also finalists.

Laundry 43 manager Karis Silke said taking out the category for the second year in a row was a great achievement.

“It is a reflection of the passion and commitment from all the staff here –  it is not a one man show,” she said.

“It is so good for Busselton and the region to have such quality dining experiences.”

Ms Silke said the feedback provided from the awards was a huge factor in nominating.

“By being part of the awards, you get to know where you sit in the industry and we always want to improve,” she said.

“Being judged keeps you on your toes but that being said, the same pride goes in to every customer.”

Piari and Co took out the New Restaurant category, a huge feat for owner and chef, Nic Wood, who only opened in January.

Mr Wood had previously operated restaurants for QT Hotels interstate.

He said when the opportunity came up in the South West to buy his own restaurant, it was too good to refuse.

“It has been a whirlwind,” he said.

“We thought we were good but we weren’t expecting the Gold Plate.

“There were so many finalists and it was across metro and regional, so its really amazing and overwhelming.”

Rivendell’s gold plate was for Restaurant/Cafe Within a Winery Country.

Rivendell manager David Irvin said to go from finalist in 2016 to winner in 2017 was amazing for the small niche restaurant.

“It just shows what can be done with a little love and customer care plus great food and a great team,” he said.

“It is truly amazing as the region is blessed with so many fantastic restaurants and punters have so much to choose from.”

Busselton’s Hodge Podge and Il Primo were also finalists in the awards for Best Pizza and European/Mediterranean Dining respectively.