OLIVE’S ALERNATIVE RESTAURANT AWARDS 2009

September 21st, 2009

Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, Ikea’s hot dogs, a scotch egg from a Maidenhead pub, The Royal Oak and a prison chef are just some of the winners in olive magazine’s 2009 Alternative Restaurant Awards.

olive’s awards celebrate the best, the new and the original in Britain’s dining scene – including who’s serving the top credit-crunching deals, the best places to eat meat, where to go out with your parents (and where not to) and where to find the biggest portions.

The magazine has also tracked down the hottest new chefs, the best places to grab a snack and the places that say they serve local, seasonal food – and mean it.

Getting the reader’s vote is Rick Stein’s Seafood restaurant, which beat Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to the title of top Celebrity Chef Restaurant. According to olive features editor Jessica Gunn, “olive’s awards are a reflection of the magazine’s informed but playful approach to eating out. We want to give people a new slant on the best places to eat across the UK.” October’s olive magazine, featuring olive’s Alternative Restaurant Awards 2009, is on sale now priced £3.40.

Full list of winners

Crunch bunch

Purnell’s, Birmingham (purnellsrestaurant.com),

Arbutus in Soho, London (arbutusrestaurant.co.uk)

The Hand & Flowers, Marlow (thehandandflowers.co.uk)

Trinity, London (trinityrestaurant.co.uk)

Gang stars

Cinnamon Kitchen, London
Le Bouchon Breton, London

Committed carnivores

Red Pump Inn, Lancashire (theredpumpinn.co.uk)
The Cross Keys, Leeds (the-crosskeys.com)

Veggies’ paradise

Hansa’s, Leeds (hansasrestaurant.com)
Kastoori, Tooting, London (kastoorirestaurant.com)

Ridiculously optimistic

Bob Bob Ricard, Soho, London (bobbobricard.com­)

The place that says ‘local produce’ and means it

Agaric, Devon (agaricrestaurant.co.uk)

The world’s best-ever scotch egg

Royal Oak in Maidenhead (theroyaloakpaleystreet.com; eggs £2.50).

Runner up
The Harwood Arms in Fulham, London, venison scotched egg, £2.50. (harwoodarms.com)

Best all day brunch
Heart Buchanan, Glasgow (heartbuchanan.co.uk)

Wish it was our local

Stravaigin café, Glasgow (stravaigin.com).

Entropy, Leicester (entropylife.com)
500, London (500restaurant.co.uk)

You’d never find it unless…
Gabriel’s Kitchen, Manchester (themoderncaterer.co.uk)

What credit crunch?

21212, Edinburgh (21212restaurant.co.uk)

‘Well, hello, trolley’

Cartmel’s L’Enclume (lenclume.co.uk) Lake District
Boundary, London (theboundary.co.uk)

Meet the chef

Sat Bains in Nottingham (restaurantsatbains.com)
Claude Bosi – Hibiscus, London (hibiscusrestaurant.co.uk)
Aggi Sverrisson and Xavier Rousset – Texture, London (texture-restaurant.co.uk)

Hero at the hob
Alberto Crisci, head chef at Her Majesty’s Prison High Down in Surrey, The Clink (theclinkonline.com)

Pub that thinks it’s a restaurant

The Sportsman in Kent (thesportsmanseasalter.co.uk)

Most on-trend restaurant
Eastside Inn, London (esilondon.com)

Dining at the bar
Bocca Di Lupo, London (boccadilupo.com)

Like having dinner at you mate’s
Hotel Terravina, in Southampton (hotelterravina.co.uk)

Best snack

Pickles & Potter, Leeds
Urban Pie (Birmingham and Leicester; urbanpie.co.uk)
Salisbury pub, Fulham, London (thesalisbury.co.uk)

Unsung chef
Stephen Crane, head chef at Ockenden Manor, West Sussex (hshotels. co.uk)

Your parents will love it
Corrigan’s Mayfair, London (corrigansmayfair.com)
Quo Vadis, London (quovadissoho.co.uk)

Your parents will hate it
Gaucho’s (gauchorestaurants.co.uk)

Chefs in new homes
Robert Thompson, The Hambrough, Isle of Wight (thehambrough.com)
Maria Elia, Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room, London (whitechapelgallery.org)

Cheaper than eating at home

Franco Manca, London (francomanca.co.uk)

Gulity pleasure

Ikea’s hotdogs

Acceptable face of fusion
Modern Pantry, London (themodernpantry.co.uk)

Where the location’s the draw….
St. Pauls Cathedral, London Restaurantatstpauls.co.uk,

….and where it doesn’t matter
Croque Gascon, Westfield in London (bit.ly/croque)

The biggest portion
Fox & Anchor, London (foxandanchor.com)

Don’t believe the hype
Buddha bar, London (buddhabar-london.com)

Forbidden planet
Planet Hollywood, London (planethollywoodlondon.com)

Craziest concept
Bel Canto, London (lebelcanto.co.uk)

olive reader picks

Celebrity chef restaurants
Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant, Cornwall

New restaurants you would most like to visit
Wild Garlic, Gloucestershire

About the awards
There are 50 winners in total (restaurants and chefs) in 34 categories. The categories were decided and judged by a panel made up of the olive team and industry experts. The reader picks were voted for my 869 people who responded to a BBC Magazines insiders reader panel questionnaire between 10 July – 17 July