SMH Good Food Guide 2015: Zanzibar Cafe gets Hat

Zanzibar Cafe owners, chef, Huw Jones, left, with Renee Loftus and chef, Angus Jones.
Zanzibar Cafe owners, chef, Huw Jones, left, with Renee Loftus and chef, Angus Jones.
  • The only hatted restaurant south of Ulladulla

The Zanzibar Cafe Facebook page was running hot with congratulations Tuesday morning after the restaurant was recognised, for the third consecutive year, by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide reviewers for both its passion for food and consistently high standards. 

The fine dining restaurant has retained its One Hat rating from the reviewers and once again has received 15.5/20 just 0.5 short of Two Hats. Zanzibar is the only hatted restaurant south of Ulladulla. 

The 2015 SMH Good Food Guide reviewers said: “It’s a small, elegant spot with carpeted floor and modern minimalist decor - quite at odds with the main street franchises outside. But Huw and Angus Jones’ cooking forges its own delight, as does Renee Loftus’ practised service.

“Local oysters sit perfectly with warm wakame or a pickled lemon and ginger mignonette. Even more pleasing for the palate (and the eye) is barely cooked yellow and purple beetroot with pistou, hazelnuts and creamy goat’s feta.”

The reviewers praised the “sweet flathead fillet, accompanied by small pieces of spanner crab in a rich tomato sauce touched lightly with fennel and sorrel” and loved the “succulent” lamb.

They also raved about the desserts which they called “show stoppers’.

Renee Loftus and chef, Huw Jones were at the event held in the Ivy Ballroom, Sydney on Monday, September 1 and Renee said: “We had some lovely messages this morning (Tuesday).” 

“We’re rapt; it’s such a great night but it’s also a team effort and we can’t do it without Angus Jones, Holli Thomas, Clancy Morrison, Raymon Gacis, Zoe Crosbie and Eli Wiebie. Thanks also to our loyal customers too.”

Renee said: “We take this very seriously. There’s a pressure to keep the standard up because it draws food lovers and people do travel a great deal to dine with us.”

She said that only last week a couple had travelled from Batemans Bay specifically to dine at Zanzibar Cafe.

“That means a lot to me when people seek you out. We also had a couple who chose to do the coast road from Sydney to Melbourne rather than doing the Hume.”

Renee said that being in the Good Food Guide was definitely a drawcard and that it added to the town.