De Niro and Packer defeat eats from Armadale

Last night Armadale took on Robert De Niro and shopping centre coffee was celebrated.

For the 2012 Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence local Asian take away favourite Hans Cafe was pitted against fine dining super power Nobu for the title of Perth’s best Asian Restaurant.

The Coffee Club in Midland was a finalist in the Best Coffee Shop category and Hog’s Breath Cafe in Kelmscott and Mindarie were recognised as some of the best family restaurants Perth has to offer.

Sizzler in Innaloo was notably absent from the finalists list which boasted 173 dining establishments and catering companies from around WA.

"The Restaurant and Catering Awards have never been more important than they are in today's market. As an industry from many diverse backgrounds, dreams and ideals, we have to have one goal to provide better food, service and hospitality than we did yesterday," Restaurant and Catering Western Australia president Warwick Lewis said ahead of the gala awards.

Other eateries to make the finalist list included iconic venues such as Fraser's Restaurant and Witch's Cauldron and canapé connoisseurs Mustard Catering.

Winners were decided upon by "mystery diners" – a team of trained and independent judges who anonymously visited each of the restaurants and scored each venue on the "entire dining experience".

The judging system consisted of 66 criteria for fine dining establishments and 55 criteria for more relaxed restaurants.

The judging criteria and parameters of success were finalised after comprehensive surveys were carried out with Perth diners.

Phone manner, table presentation, lighting, drinks and the dishes were all considered.

Stephen Clarke of Clarke's of North Beach took out Chef of the Year while what was once Alan Bond and co's favourite place for a power lunch - Mosman's Restaurant - were awarded the George Mure Memorial for professional development.

Chris Taylor from Fraser's was awarded the prestigious Hall of Fame Award and the Witch's Cauldron received a lifetime achievement award.

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