Bars and cafes stun at Eat, Drink, Design Awards

Ishizuka in Melbourne’s CBD.

Remember when all you needed to operate a pub or restaurant was some tables, a couple of beer taps and some half-decent grub?

Those days are most definitely over, judging by the caliber of the winners at the annual Eat, Drink, Design Awards.

If you don’t have Insta-worthy spaces and an aesthetic that generates more than its share of buzz, you might well have been left behind.

Here’s what some of this year’s winners brought to the table.

Best Restaurant Design – Ishizuka, Melbourne

A large backlit lantern egg gives this Japanese kaiseki restaurant (pictures top and below) its distinctly Asian flavour, and has only 16 seats in the unforgettable basement venue.

The restaurant screams “mood” from the moment you enter the basement space. Pictures: Felix Forest.

Best Bar Design – Malt & Juniper, Adelaide

A small space and a tight budget were no barriers for this small Adelaide watering hole, which used rich wood, green marble and textured concrete to stunning effect throughout the intimate venue.

Green marble and rich wood were used throughout the re-fit at Malt & Juniper. Pictures: Brendan Homan

An internal seating area at Malt & Juniper. Picture: Brendan Homan.

Best Hotel Design – Brae Restaurant Accommodation, VIC

Inspired by the rustic nature of farm sheds, the overnight accommodation at Brae in regional Victoria was recognised for having that rare mix of bespoke, modern design and yet a comfortable, country feel.

One of the accommodation rooms at Brae. Picture: Trevor Mein.

The accomodation at Brae is reminiscent of tin farm sheds. Picture: Trevor Mein.

Best Retail Design – Chandon, VIC

The bottle is most definitely the hero at winery Chandon’s Coldstream tasting room. The jury was wowed by the sense of presence in the building’s interior, while a bubble motif is a signature that flows through the  space.

Chandon Coldstream tasting

The seating area within Chandon’s tasting room in Coldstream.

A bubble motif is seen throughout the Coldstream property. Picture: Tom Blachford.

One of the retail areas within Chandon’s tasting room. Picture: Tom Blachford.

Best Cafe Design – Bentwood Cafe, Fitzroy

Another winner from Victoria, Bentwood Cafe’s designers worked within heritage constraints to breathe new life into an old Fitzroy building. The raw brickwork and lashings of leather were highlights for the judges, creating a place you’d actually want to sit and eat at.

Bentwood Fitzroy

Bentwood Cafe in Fitzroy. Pictures: Tom Blachford.

Bentwood Cafe in Fitzroy.