MAÎTRE D’ OF THE YEAR The Dinner by Heston Blumenthal team
Given the faultless choreography of the service at Heston Blumenthal’s Melbourne outpost, accolades could go to Dinner’s general manager Jonno Forbes and restaurant manager Danilo Mancini, even if just for their ability to hire and train the right people. The greatness here is a sum-of-its-parts scenario, with every member of the team equally committed to showing diners a good time. There’s pride and confidence in the approach, starting with the well-designed and meticulously kept uniforms and continuing with the charming greeting at the front desk, the skill and witty banter at the excellent bar and a relaxed, informed tableside manner that’s never rushed or pushy and is defined by an enthusiasm for what’s being served and poured. If it’s not genuine, it deserves a swag of acting awards. Experiencing seamless service like this emphasises how integral the front of house experience is to a restaurant’s success. It also underlines the truth that serving people is a genuinely honourable profession, one where you send people out into the night feeling better about themselves than when they arrived. That’s what they do here and why we reckon they’re one team really worth barracking for.
Dinner By Heston Blumenthal, Crown Towers, Level 3, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Vic, (03) 9292 5779
From left: assistant restaurant managers Gianluca Buttarelli and Leanne Usher, general manager Jonno Forbes and restaurant manager Danilo Mancini, of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.