The Golden Chopsticks Awards 2019

The winners have been announced for country’s top honours for
Oriental cuisine

The Golden Chopsticks Awards winners were announced last night, Monday 29th April 2019, at a glittering ceremony in Mayfair, London, hosted by Gok Wan. The awards are one of the largest and most prestigious celebrations of Oriental food in the world.

A host of celebrities and VIP’s attended the event at the Marriott, Grosvenor Square, including Sally Lindsay, Andrea McLean, Alice Beer and Ollie Locke. Also attending were Tom Watson, Deputy leader of the Labour party and representatives from the Korean and Chinese Embassies as well as some of the biggest influencers in Oriental food, eminent food writers and prominent community leaders.

Gok Wan, co-founder and host of the awards commented: ‘After the amazing success of our first awards last year, we knew it was going to be a tall order to go bigger and better this year, but we feel we pulled it off! The Golden Chopsticks Awards has well and truly cemented itself into the culinary calendar. What an amazing night, bringing together the good and the great from the oriental food world in one room, with winners covering the broad spectrum of SE Asian food from Chinese, Japanese and Thai to Vietnamese, Malaysian, Filipino and Korean. It was fantastic to see so many accomplished restaurateurs in the room, alongside the rising stars of the future! It was a real honour to host what is now one of my favourite nights of the year!’

To top it all off, the awards kicked started with a standing ovation for Ken Hom, regarded as one of the world’s greatest authorities on Oriental food, as the entire room sang happy birthday, and presented a lucky cat shaped birthday cake in celebration of the celebrity chef’s 70th birthday on May 2nd and almost 60 years of cooking.

Ken Hom, OBE, commented ‘I am more than delighted to be part of the second Golden Chopsticks Award which sets the highest standard from which Asian restaurants in the UK can all be judged. I congratulate all the winners and finalists as well as the judges for their hard work!’

The 22 award categories mark the excellence of both the restaurant sector and contribution made by suppliers, supermarkets, food writers and individuals to the industry’s growth.

To acknowledge the growth and ever-changing diversity in the market, four new awards were introduced in 2019 to shine light on the Oriental representation within vegetarian food, street food, dumplings and desserts & sweet treats, and delivered an exciting mix of nominees, from London’s first plant-based vegan pop up to Filipino ‘dirty ice cream’ from the streets of Manila.

The range of winners was refreshingly diverse. The coveted Fine Dining category was picked up by The Araki, London, one of only three three-Michelin-starred restaurants in London. The 10 seater restaurant is notoriously difficult to book and serves only one tasting menu.

Whilst the highly contested Best Takeaway was won by the Golden Dragon Takeaway (Swansea), who might seem familiar as their Chef, Jacky Chan featured prominently as one of the singing chefs in Just Eat’s 2018 X Factor sponsorship TV adverts.

Little Viet Kitchen, a small restaurant tucked away in Islington, beat off stiff competition to win one of the big awards of the night, Best Restaurant in England. Born in Vietnam, Thuy Diem Pham and her family moved to London when she was eight, where she retained an intense passion for the food of Vietnam. Following the huge success of her supper club, the restaurant was born, and Thuy is now blazing a path for female chefs and her beloved Vietnamese food.

As Dim Sum takes the capital by storm, new Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung in Covent Garden took the new Best Dumpling category, whilst Filipino Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream in Chinatown scooped the Best Sweet Treat Award and show the real diversity shining through the industry.

The ballroom erupted when Little Somboon Kitchen in York picked up The Golden Chopsticks Best Street Food Award and really encapsulated the mood in the room last night.

The chosen restaurants were voted for by members of the public over a six-week period, with 20,000 votes registered. Separate industry prizes were awarded by a judging panel including influential figures Ken Hom OBE, Ching-He Huang, School of Wok’s Jeremy Pang, Gizzi Erskine and Sunday Brunch’s Simon Rimmer all in attendance on the night. Four special Founders’ awards were also given on the night.

The full list of winners and finalists in the public awards are as follows:

1. The Golden Chopsticks Best Restaurant in England
Winner: Little Viet Kitchen (London)
Finalists: Duck and Rice (London), Jinli Newport Place (London), Dragon Inn Club (London)

2. The Golden Chopsticks Best Restaurant in Wales
Winner: The Dragon Palace (Saundersfoot)
Finalists: Zi’s Café (Cardiff) Gigi’s Gao’s Favourite Authentic Chinese (Swansea) Sushi Life (Cardiff)

3. The Golden Chopsticks Best Restaurant in Scotland
Winner: Harajuku Kitchen (Edinburgh)
Finalists: Julie’s Kopitiam (Glasgow), The Chinese Manor House (Edinburgh), Amber Regent (Glasgow)

4. The Golden Chopsticks Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland
Winner: House of Zen (Belfast)
Finalists: Jumon (Belfast), The Welcome Restaurant (Belfast), Abacus Restaurant (Belfast),

5. The Golden Chopsticks Best Newcomer Sponsored by H Mart (Open since January 1st, 2018)
Winner: Mizu Pan Asian Restaurant (Cumbria)
Finalists: Bao & Bing (London), Michael Wan’s Wok Inn (Blackpool), Sarap Filipino BBQ & Lechon (London)

6. The Golden Chopsticks Best Takeaway sponsored by Just Eat
Winner: Golden Dragon Takeaway (Swansea)
Finalists: Hop Vietnamese (London), Tai Pan Express Oriental (Northwood), Ying’s Thai Takeaway (Sunderland)

7. The Golden Chopsticks Best Fusion Restaurant sponsored by Phoenix Rice
Winner: Sticky Mango (London)
Finalists: Chotto Matte (London), Inamo (London), Romulo Café (London)

8. The Golden Chopsticks Best Restaurant Chain sponsored by Just Eat (5 or more branches)
Winner: Cosmo
Finalists: Itsu, Rosa’s Thai Café, Wagamama

9. The Golden Chopsticks Best Noodle Dish Award sponsored by Lucky Boat Noodles
Winner: Peking Garden Restaurant (Northwood)
Finalists: Thai House Cafe (Newcastle), Tonkotsu (London), Kanada-Ya (London)

10. The Golden Chopsticks Best Vegetarian Dish Award sponsored by Unicurd Tofu
Winner: Phung Kay (London)
Finalists: Golden Dragon Takeaway (Swansea), Mao Chow (London), Your Thai Café (Liverpool)

11. The Golden Chopsticks Best Sweet Treat Award sponsored by Chinatown London & Shaftesbury
Winner: Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream (London)
Finalists: Cuppacha (London & Sheffield), Tsujiri Matcha House (London), Yolkin (London)

12. The Golden Chopsticks Best Street Food Award sponsored by Asco Foods
Winner: Little Somboon Kitchen (York)
Finalists: Big Bamboo Asian Deli with a Twist (Hartlepool), Da Ja Street Food (London), Tikk’s Thai Kitchen (York)

13. The Golden Chopsticks Best Dumpling Award sponsored by Super Pollo
Winner: Din Tai Fung (London)
Finalists: Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse (Norwich), Dumpling Shack (London), Yauatcha (London)

The full list of finalists in the judges’ awards are as follows:

14. The Golden Chopsticks Fine Dining Award sponsored by Yutaka
Winner: The Araki (London),
Finalists: China Tang (London), Hunan (London), Yu Alderley Edge (Alderley Edge)

15. The Golden Chef Award sponsored by Lee Kum Kee
Winner: Tong Chee Hwee, Hakkasan (London)
Finalists: Andrew Wong, A.Wong and Kyms (London), Mark Edwards, Nobu (London), Shuko Oda, Koya (London)

16. The Ching-He Huang Innovation Award sponsored by Unilever
Joint Winners: Kiln (London), Sambal Shiok Laksa Bar (London)
Finalists: Dumpling Shack (London), Ichibuns (London)

17. The Golden Chopsticks Food Influencer Award sponsored by Lee Kum Kee
Winner: Ping Coombes
Finalists: Prowlergram, The Woks of Life, Thuy Diem Pham

18. The Golden Chopsticks Community Award sponsored by The Bank of East Asia
Winner: Dr Stephen Ng MBE
Finalists: Christine Yau (The London Chinese Community Centre), Ming Ai Institute, Plan ZHeroes

Founders Categories

19. Founders Food forward Awards sponsored by Coca-Cola European Partners
Winner: Guirong Wei

20. The Best National Retailers’ Oriental Range Award sponsored by Lee Kum Kee
Winner: Tesco

21. Founders Business Achievement Award sponsored by Just Eat
Winner: Cosmo

22. The Ken Hom Lifetime Achievement Awards sponsored by Chinatown London and Shaftesbury
Winner: Mr To Ming Lam of Royal China

Headline sponsors are Just Eat, leading global marketplace for online food delivery and Lee Kum Kee, the leading supplier of authentic Chinese and Asian sauces. Other sponsors include Unilever and Coca-Cola.

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