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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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olive's Alternative Restaurant Awards 2011

A book club, a restaurant with obscure edible plants, a chef you’ve never heard of and a restaurant with a ghost are just some of the eclectic winners of olive magazine's 2011 Alternative Restaurant Awards. olive's Alternative Restaurant Awards celebrate the brilliant bargains, exciting new openings and unsung heroes with its no-nonsense pick of the UK's most excellent eating. There were ten overall category winners, plus 31 honourable mentions.

According to olive editor Christine Hayes: "olive's Alternative Restaurant Awards 2011 highlight our informed but irreverent attitude to eating out. Whilst celebrating the effort put in by the talented teams at 41 restaurants in the UK we never forget the experience is supposed to be fun for diners."

October's olive magazine, featuring olive's Alternative Restaurant Awards 2011, is on sale now priced £3.50.


Austerity Britain's Best Bargain
Richard Booth's Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye
"Arguably Britain's best café….faultless brunch menu…for cooking this good, it’s an absolute steal." (

Best chef you've never heard of
Michael Wignall, Latymer, Surrey’s Pennyhill Park Hotel
"He does 15- hour days, working hard to produce dishes such as poached langoustine and Portland crab." (

Most inventive one-man-band
Marc Wilkinson, Fraiche, Wirral
"Wilkinson's ability to singlehandedly conjure a stream of jaw-dropping avant-garde dishes for his guests is remarkable." (

Hippest of the hipsters
The Book Club, Shoreditch, London
"A venue in which the creative types of London enjoy all things cultural, including good food." (

The sure-thing opening of the year
Pollen Street Social, London
"Essentially, he's (Jason Atherton) attempting to revolutionise the whole concept of fine dining."

Most educational menu
Roganic, London
"At Roganic, ingredients such as hyssop, sweet cicely, verbena, meadowsweet and chenopodium are as commonplace as carrots and potatoes." (

Wrap star
Dosa & Chutny, Tooting, London
"This simple café's mutton, potato and onion dosa, served with clean, vibrant coconut chutneys, and tamarind and lentil sambar gravy is sensational." (

Best start to the day
Café Conor, Belfast
"A carnival of fried carbs and wonderful pig-based ingredients." (

Most hyped restaurant
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London's Mandarin Oriental hotel
"So did it justify the hype? Just about." (


Award for meat-free achievement

Prashad, Bradford (
Vanilla Black, London (

Best start to the day
Gourmet coffee and corn fritters at St Ali, London (
London's Breakfast Clubs (

Hippest of the hipsters
An Outlet, Manchester (
Liverpool's Leaf tea room (
Brunswick House café, Vauxhall, London (

Best British tapas
Mason & Taylor, London (

Best place to make new friends
Chabrot, London (

Award for convention-breaking genius
Dishoom's cheesy, cheddar naan, London (

Worth the scrum
José Pizarro, London (

Thinking beyond charcuterie and cheese
London wine bar Galoupet (

Cleverest order-guaranteeing dish name
Spuntino's truffle egg toast, London (

Smartest communal table
At Langford Fivehead, Somerset's elegant B&B (

Closest thing to Noma this side of Copenhagen
Clerkenwell’s North Road, run by Denmark's Chris Hruskova (

Restaurateur on a roll
Hugh Trung Bui, whose Vietnamese pho and bánh mì baguettes are now in Soho, at Cây Tre Soho (

Quirkiest back story
The Zetter Town House's fictional ghost, Wilhelmina, whose portrait hangs in the cocktail lounge, London (

Best takeaway crockery
King's Cross's Drink Shop & Do, London (

Best use of a former Pitcher & Piano
Les Deux Salons (

Most inspired bar snack
Beer-pickled eggs at Ipswich's The Brewery Tap (

Tipped for success
The Honours, in Edinburgh (

Double-take decor
Wall-climbing stuffed squirrels at Riding House Café, London (

I can't believe it's not Naples
Santa Maria's wood-fired oven, London (

Most confusing loos
The hall of mirrors at Nopi, London (

The in-laws will love it
Roux at The Landau, London (

The in-laws will hate it
Hakkasan Mayfair, London (

Read 'em and weep
Funniest tweeters– @SJRestaurant, @PolpoSoho, @BlueprintCafe

Grow your own
The Pig's indoor trees and tablecentres showcasing New Forest produce, The New Forest (

The bar's the star
Opera Tavern’s tapas counter, London (

Elmer Fudd award for Wabbit pie
Trish Hilferty's suet-pastry delight at The Canton Arms in Stockwell, London (


For more information and a copy of the PDF of the feature please contact Toby Hicks.

About olive magazine
olive is the stylish, monthly magazine for food lovers with an emphasis on getting great value. It has 82,772 readers according to the last Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures.

Toby Hicks

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