The Golden Chopsticks Awards winners were announced early this month at a ceremony in Mayfair, London, hosted by Gok Wan.
The awards kick 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.
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.
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 a mix of nominees, from London’s first plant-based vegan pop up to Filipino ‘dirty ice cream’ from the streets of Manila.
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), whose chef Jacky Chan featured 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..
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.
Little Somboon Kitchen in York picked up The Golden Chopsticks Best Street Food Award.
The chosen restaurants were voted for by members of the public over a six-week period, with 20,000 votes registered.
The full list of winners and finalists
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)
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
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
21. Founders Business Achievement Award sponsored by Just Eat
22. The Ken Hom Lifetime Achievement Awards sponsored by Chinatown London and Shaftesbury
Please visit theGCAs.co.uk for further information.