judges’ comments in 2019
Merne at Lighthouse in the Bellarine Peninsula sets the highest standards in excellence in dining in regional Victoria. As usual the restaurant in 2019 was immaculately presented and showed great attention to detail. The menu is seasonally driven therefore constantly changing with a share menu showcasing the creativity of a chef and local produce. The excellent drinks list features a wonderful selection from the local regions and national and international drops, All expertly paired with the local and regional foods. From the moment of arrival you’ll be impressed by the front of house – back of house team. In a word the service is flawless. Merne is a must-visit dining experience to be repeated regularly – day or night time. There are so many delights to try.
Golden Plate State Winner in 2017 and 2018. Exceptional all round performance. A glowing fire, warm lighting, the distant lights over Corio Bay. Strong feeling of intimacy. Optional two course sharing plates and two course deserts. Salted Cod, Barramundi and sublime Pork dishes. Exemplary customer service. One of the most extensive lists of quality drinks around. Amazing value for money.
Awards in 2019
- Winner Best Front of House Person Award – Caleb Fleet (Sponsored by Maxim PR & Marketing P/L)
- Highly Commended Best Contemporary Dining Award (Sponsored by Comcater P/L)
- Highly Commended Best Customer Service Award (Sponsored by Maxim PR & Marketing P/L)
- Finalist Peter Watson Memorial Award for Best Chef: Josh Smith (Sponsored by Luxury Escapes)
- Finalist Best Menu of Local Produce Award (Sponsored by Provinir)
- Finalist Best Menu of Local Wines, Beers and Ciders Award (Sponsored by Furphy)
- Finalist Best Value for Money Award (Sponsored by The Gordon Institute)