Nic Watt and his team at Federal Street restaurant MASU have plenty to celebrate this week. They’ve picked up several new awards across food, wine and architecture to add to their already impressive collection.
On Sunday (June 7) at the Lewisham Awards for the hospitality industry MASU sommelier Meg Abbott-Walker took out the Outstanding Wine Service Professional award.
Then, to cap off a rewarding week for the Federal St dining precinct restaurant MASU retained its two hat rating at the annual Cuisine Good Food Awards on Monday night (June 8) with a score of 17 out of 20.
And a couple of weeks prior to all this, Moller Architects and MASU were awarded at the 2015 Auckland Architecture Awards in the hospitality and retail category.
Meg Abbott-Walker is the first female to take out the Outstanding Wine Service Professional title in the 14 years the Lewisham Awards have been running. Meg joined MASU in September 2013 as sommelier after six years in Melbourne where she worked in a variety of noted Japanese restaurants.
The Lewisham Awards is an established event in the Auckland hospitality industry, where the best in the business are nominated and honoured by their peers.
Nic Watt says everyone at MASU congratulates Meg and is extremely proud of her achievement.
“The award is testament to the hard work, commitment and dedication Meg puts in day-in, day-out and her dedication to growing as an industry professional. To have literally the best sommelier in town at Masu is another fantastic contribution to the team.”
Meg says she was super pleased and surprised to have been voted for by her industry peers and colleagues.
“The cool thing it says about the Auckland hospitality industry is that people are ready to embrace a new approach to wine and support a young, female ‘wine-guy’/sommelier with a less-than-traditional way of talking about wine.”
MASU’s 2 hat rating confirmed at the Cuisine Good Food Awards is for the second year running.
In their comments, the judges described MASU as “a temple to good taste in every sense”.
“It may look effortlessly elegant, but this chic Japanese joint is also a fun place to dine and the food can be finger-lickin’ good. Making menu choices here is hard thanks to the trinity of sushi bar, robata grill and kitchen turning out a succession of Japanese favourites.
“There’s a range of top-notch New Zealand wines and a comprehensive collection of sake to choose from, plus a great beer list that includes some intriguing Japanese craft brews. Presentation is impeccable and a veritable army of staff attend to your every need.”
MASU was designed by Moller Architects and the jury at the 2015 Auckland Architecture Awards said “dinner is made exciting and theatrical” by its ambience. The restaurant “is a great showcase for the superb food of an ambitious and visionary chef”.
“It’s been a full-on couple of weeks,” says Nic, “even more so than usual. However, recognition for your efforts is always very welcome and we owe much to our dedicated teams right across the business.
“We work hard to keep MASU fresh and lively and interesting and I believe that resonates with diners who can and do frequently return to the restaurant expecting to be surprised and delighted again and again.
“And today we get out of bed and do it all over again,” says Nic, “only better.”