Revealed: North West’s regional winners in the Irish Restaurant Awards 2018

Ulster Regional Best Local Food Hero: Chef Brian McDermott pictured with his proud mum, Mary, at the recent launch of his Brian McDermott's Donegal Table book in the Redcastle Hotel. DER1018-140KM
Ulster Regional Best Local Food Hero: Chef Brian McDermott pictured with his proud mum, Mary, at the recent launch of his Brian McDermott's Donegal Table book in the Redcastle Hotel. DER1018-140KM

A host of Derry, Donegal and Tyrone restaurants, cafes, pubs and chefs have been honoured at the Ulster Regional Finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards 2018.

The special award of the night, the Ulster Regional Best Local Food Hero, went to renowned Inishowen Chef Brian McDermott.

Beech Hill Country House Hotel in Ardmore.

Beech Hill Country House Hotel in Ardmore.

The Derry, Donegal and Tyrone winners (full list below) were among 135 from across the nine counties of Ulster who received their accolades at La Mon Hotel, Belfast, on Wednesday night.

Over 400 people attended the Ulster Regional Final on Wednesday evening where the winning establishments in each county were named.

The Sooty Olive Restaurant in Derry picked up two awards for ‘Best Emerging Irish Cuisine’ and ‘Best Free From’.

Best Chef went to Derek Creagh of Primrose, which also won the accolade for Best Newcomer.

Peadar O'Donnell's Bar on Waterloo Street. 3003JM101

Peadar O'Donnell's Bar on Waterloo Street. 3003JM101

Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant went to the Beech Hill Country House in Ardmore, while Best Customer Service went to Mama Masala’s Restaurant in the city centre.

The popular Peadar O’Donnells Bar on Waterloo Street won Pub of the Year, while the Best Wine Experience was awarded to Browns Bonds Hill.

Beyond Derry city, Anger’s Rest in Benone walked away with the award for Best Gastro Pub.

District 45 in Magherafelt received two awards, with James McKee scooping Best Restaurant Manager, while it also came out on top in the Best Casual Dining category.

Also in Magherafelt, the Best Restaurant in the county went to Church Street Restaurant.

The Best Kids Size Me category went to Amici, Portstewart, and the seaside town also saw Warke’s Deli take the accolade for Best Café.

The final County Derry award, Best World Cuisine, went to Indus Valley Cuisine, Coleraine.

Speaking at the Ulster Regional awards, Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) said: “Now in their tenth year, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to showcase the exquisite and admirable calibre of food available in our restaurants and pubs nationwide.

“Online nominations have increased from 9,000 in 2013 to over 80,000 this year and with the increase in interest comes an increase in standards, making the judging process more difficult than ever.

“Our small island boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastropubs, from the exotic taste explosions of world cuisine to the comfort of traditional dishes. We have an appreciation for what we eat, for the journey of our food from farm to fork, and for the dedication of those working in the food industry to serve up Ireland’s finest food.”

Derry winners are as follows:

Best Casual Dining sponsored by San Pellegrino - District 45

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine sponsored by Odaios Foods - The Sooty Olive Restaurant

Best Kids Size Me sponsored by Dubliner Cheese - Amici

Best ‘Free From’ sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free - The Sooty Olive

Best World Cuisine sponsored by Aryzta - Indus Valley Cuisine

Best Newcomer sponsored by Elavon - Primrose Derry

Best Wine Experience sponsored by ClassicDrinks - Browns Bonds Hill

Pub of the Year sponsored by Bushmills - Peadar O’Donnells Bar

Best Café sponsored by Illy - Warke’s Deli

Best Gastro Pub sponsored by Coca Cola & Schweppes - Anglers Restaurant

Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant sponsored by BWG Foodservice - Beech Hill Country House

Best Customer Service - Mama Masala

Best Restaurant Manager sponsored by AIB Merchant Services - James McKee of District 45

Best Chef sponsored by Nisbets - Derek Creagh of Primrose Derry

Best Restaurant sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants - Church Street Restaurant

Donegal winners are as follows:

Best Casual Dining sponsored by San Pellegrino - Quay West Restaurant Donegal Town

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine sponsored by Odaios Foods - The Lemon Tree Restaurant

Best Kids Size Me sponsored by Dubliner Cheese - Market House Restaurant

Best ‘Free From’ sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free - Simple Simons

Best World Cuisine sponsored by Aryzta - Chandpur Restaurant

Best Newcomer sponsored by Elavon - Benny & Co Coffee Bar & Restaurant

Best Wine Experience sponsored by ClassicDrinks - Lough Eske Castle, a Solís Hotel & Spa

Pub of the Year sponsored by Bushmills - The Forge

Best Café sponsored by Illy - Sonder

Best Gastro Pub sponsored by Coca Cola & Schweppes Kennedy’s Bar & Restaurant

Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant sponsored by BWG Foodservice - Lakeside Restaurant at Harvey’s Point

Best Customer Service sponsored by - Harvey’s Point

Best Restaurant Manager sponsored by AIB Merchant Services - Jo Daly of Quay West Restaurant

Best Chef sponsored by Nisbets - Colin McKee of Harvey’s Point

Best Restaurant sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants - Cook & Gardener Restaurant at Rathmullan House

Tyrone winners are as follows:

Best Casual Dining sponsored by San Pellegrino – Oysters Restaurant

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine sponsored by Odaios Foods – Restaurant 1861 at Sion Stables

Best Kids Size Me sponsored by Dubliner Cheese – Oysters Restaurant

Best ‘Free From’ sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free – Dungannon Golf Club Bar and Restaurant

Best World Cuisine sponsored by Aryzta – Dragon Garden

Best Newcomer sponsored by Elavon – The Moy Larder

Best Wine Experience sponsored by ClassicDrinks – The Brewer’s House

Pub of the Year sponsored by Bushmills – Tomneys Bar

Best Café sponsored by Illy – Deli On The Green

Best Gastro Pub sponsored by Coca Cola & Schweppes – The Brewer’s House

Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant sponsored by BWG Foodservice – O’Brien’s Restaurant at The Mellon Country Inn

Best Customer Service – The Red Pepper Restaurant

Best Restaurant Manager sponsored by AIB Merchant Services – Ann Marie McMenamin of The Red Pepper Restaurant

Best Chef sponsored by Nisbets – Tommy Mangan of The Brewer’s House

Best Restaurant sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants – Oysters Restaurant