Judges’ Comments 2017
Paddock to plate and value for money
I once thought you should drive to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat if you wanted a taste of authentic Australia. But if you also love good eating you should drive to Tuki at Smeaton for your authentic Australian experience. Tuki is not a theme park but the “real deal”. A 1,500 acre working property at the end of a long drive that leads to the homestead. “The Man from Snowy River” would look at home here. The stables are now home to an amazing restaurant where you are welcomed by cheerful customer service staff and friendly farm dogs. Almost every ingredient served is produced and prepared on the property. Stand out dishes included the Tuki Platter with lovely collection of meats, trout, and pickled vegetables. The mains included superb smoked trout and mouth-watering lamb – both sensational dishes – and the desserts were some of the best I’ve ever tasted. We highly recommend the ginger cake with crunchy apple topping, sweet and sour flavours, and enticing aromas. The foods are hearty and comforting, and the Tuki team are happy to share stories about farm life, harvests and recipes. Tuki offers a great drinks list of Victorian wines and local craft beers. Tuki Restaurant provides amazing value for money considering everything is home-made and the generous serving sizes. Food-lovers should head for Tuki in Smeaton.
Delicious authentic Australian cuisine. Everything made or grown on the property. Open fires. Great rural views. Good wine and beers menu. Very good value for money.
Tuki Restaurant is the home of the famous trout farm at Smeaton. Owner Robert Jones has perfected the art of raising, preparing and serving this wonderful food over 25 years.
- STATE and REGIONAL WINNER – Best Menu of Local Foods – Sponsored by Western Plains Pork
- HIGHLY COMMENDED – Best Regional Casual Dining – Sponsored by Comcater P/L
- HIGHLY COMMENDED – Best Regional Value for Money – Sponsored by Maxim PR & Marketing
- HIGHLY COMMENDED – Best Regional Customer Service – Sponsored by European Affair
- FINALIST – Best Cellar of Local Wines Beers and Ciders – Sponsored by Furphy
- FINALIST – Most Outstanding Front of House Person – Jan Jones – Sponsored by Maxim PR & Marketing
2016 State Awards
- WINNER Best Menu of local Foods sponsored by Harwood Andrews
2016 Regional Awards
- WINNER Best Menu of Local Foods sponsored by Visit Ballarat
- HIGHLY COMMENDED Best Casual Dining sponsored by Comcater P/L.
- FINALIST Best Cellar of Local Wines, Beers and Ciders Sponsored by Visit Ballarat
- FINALIST Best Value for Money sponsored by Visit Ballarat
- FINALIST Best Customer Service Sponsored by Visit Ballarat
- 2015 – Regional Winner – Best Menu of Local Foods
- 2015 – Best Casual Dining – Highly Commended
- 2014 – Regional Winner – Best Menu of Local Foods
- 2014 – Best Restaurant – Relaxed Dining – Highly Commended