Source: Rest Awards
LAUNCHED only last December, Bonnie Rodwell’s Songbirds in the Forest at North Tamborine last night stormed away with the award as the Restaurant and Catering Queensland Gold Coast Branch’s Restaurant of the Year.It was a fitting reward for the New Zealand businesswoman who turned 15 years of enjoying the ambience of Songbirds into the reality of ownership backed by vision.She followed that up by undertaking a costly revamp and installed Englishman Daran Glasgow as chef to marry fine food with beautiful, tranquil surrounds.

Topping that with excellent service from staff it was the finishing touch that last night brought its deserved rewards at a glittering awards dinner at Conrad Jupiters.

Not surprisingly, Songbirds cleaned up, also winning the modern Australian and new restaurant bouquets to take its tally of credits to three for the industry’s big night on the Gold Coast.

“What a thrill”, said an elated Ms Rodwell. “This is not just for me but for Daran and my wonderful staff. This is the reward for team effort”.

Newcomers, in fact, shared much of the glory, with Broadbeach establishinments Lexene named best in the chef/owner category and Alto Cucina and Bar the best breakfast.

The owners of Mario’s, part-owners of Alto, had cause for double celebration with the much-awarded Mario’s carrying off the best pizza and people’s choice crowns, while former Mario’s pair Angelo and Maria Parents now own Saks which won the specialty category.

Conrad Jupiters also had much to smile about with three of their restaurants, Charters Towers, Andiamo and Zen all winning awards, respectively the hotel/motel, Italian and Chinese categories.

The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre was named caterer of the year and also took out the professional development and function/convention centre catering