Highlights for the 2014 Australian Hotels Association Awards

by The Editor

It’s that time of year again, – when Canberra’s best and brightest (and, occasionally, drunkest) gather together for the annual Australian Hotels Association (AHA) Awards for Excellence.

So, with the dark clouds of Public Service reform looming over the fresh fields of Canberra’s hospitality industry, who will spring up and bask in the glorious light of victory?

Firstly, we’d like to congratulate all those who have worked their collective arses off to keep the local industry thriving. There’s a real sense of maturity in the Canberra food & wine scene. The broader focus on locally-sourced produce, as well as a belief that Canberra can cut it with the best, has delivered a slew of new venues enter the market and really raise the standard.

So, without further ado…


Best Bar Service Employee
Winner: Jovan Radic



Who said nice guys finish last? ‘Joey’ – as his friends know him – has been a favourite at Kremlin Bar over the last couple of years. With a stunning attention to detail as well as a wonderful dedication to service, Jovan has honed his craft behind the bar that was last year named the city’s best.

This is a well-deserved award. Be sure to pop in soon and watch Jovan in action.


Best Wine List
Winner: Parlour Wine Room


We would have preferred an award for Best Provision of Amazing Canned Sardines (truly), but equally Parlour deserves this gong as a result of putting together a banging wine list that has been a star performer since the NewActon favourite reopened late in 2013.


Best Bar in a Hotel
Winner: Monster Kitchen


First there were some stairs, and then there was a lobby. Then, only a few weeks ago arrived Monster Kitchen.  With multiple nooks and crannies to hide away and enjoy a snack and a glass of wine, it’s been building its rep from early in the morning until late at night.

Grab a Yabbie Jaffle or perhaps just some toast (with honey supplied by NewActon’s resident beekeeper). Monster Kitchen is another worthy winner for the precinct.


Best Bar Presentation and Service
Winner: Molly


Who is she? Where is she? What are her secrets? Those who have discovered Molly’s charms know what this beautiful little speakeasy has pulled off in recent months. What first looked like a novelty has quickly become a star of the local bar scene.

Molly delivers incredible product. Some of the best cocktails ever to grace Canberra bars making their way to eager customers who dare descend from street level for an evening of old-skool revelry. We like her… a lot!


Best Cocktail Bar
Winner: Knightsbridge Penthouse


Ten years old, and still kicking arse. This year ‘Knighty’ decided to forgo the whole cocktail list altogether, and ran with a chalkboard that showed a couple of selections that changed everyday. Don’t like what you see? Name a couple of flavours and styles you prefer and watch the magic happen right in front of you.

Knightsbridge Penthouse is friendly, confident and surefooted – everything you need in a cocktail bar.


Stay tuned for a full run-down of this year’s AHA winners. Coming soon!