The Harwood Andrews Golden Plate Award covers three Award Regions in the State of Victoria, Australia covering Ballarat, Bannockburn, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Central Victoria, Colac, Daylesford, Geelong, Hepburn Springs, Lorne, Pyrenees, Queenscliff, Surf Coast and the Bellarine.

Each year the best eateries in these regions are judged by hospitality experts for excellence in the use of local foods & drinks, food & drink choices and quality, customer service, coffee, value for money and ambience.

The meticulous scoring process covers 35 factors judged in a minimum of two visits without notice at different times of the day, over several months to measure consistency of performance.

Awards are granted in up to six venue categories in each region followed by State Awards for the best overall and the best State winner for each category.

The winner of the Harwood Andrews Golden Plate Awards in 2015 was…

State Winner 2015

MERCATO AT DAYLESFORD

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Meticulous attention to detail means that Mercato in Raglan Street, Daylesford is a lovely restaurant to visit. Fresh flowers, crisp linen and an open fire compliment the features of the room. The cushioned chairs are comfortable, fine crockery and glassware give add a touch of indulgence, and the subtle lighting helps create warmth and a sense of intimacy.

The menu created by Owner and Executive Chef Richard Mee revolves around seasonal and local produce. Composed of beautifully presented dishes with delicious and layered flavours complementing each element, the food is of a very high quality. Skilfully cooked, each dish holds its own place on the menu. The entrees were superb, the Creole spiced prawns a great dish with interesting flavours that served to highlight and complement the delicious fresh prawns. The quail was also delicious, rich flavours balanced with smoky bacon and chestnuts. The mains we sampled were a great example of the high quality and clever handling of the produce, the Western Plains Pork and Tuki Lamb Loin were beautifully cooked and well complemented by the other elements of the dishes. Dessert were also lovely, and I highly recommend a degustation menu.

Mercato’s wine and beverage list is extensive and diverse, featuring the cream of Australia’s wine regions and vintages as well as international labels. We greatly enjoyed our wines by the glass, recommended to complement and enhance the flavours in our meals.

Mercato is an elegant restaurant and the customer service reflects this. The wait staff are professional and extremely knowledgeable. Front of House Manager Maree runs the restaurant with a quiet authority, impeccable customer service skills and a gentle approach.

Mercato at Daylesford is a high quality restaurant that, given the all round quality of foods, wines, service and atmosphere, offers good value for money. Lovers of great foods and wines should definitely visit Mercato.

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