SATISFIED diners from near and far have ensured Masons of Bendigo retains its mantle as the city's best restaurant.
A slew of fresh five-star reviews on the influential website TripAdvisor has the eatery firmly entrenched in top spot.
Ninety-four per cent of amateur food critics have rated their experience either "excellent" or "very good" since the restaurant opened in 2012.
One satisfied diner said of their recent experience that “the service was amazing and the food was to die for”, while another gushed that “Our expectations were met and exceeded”.
Coming in at number two is the almost equally well-regarded The Woodhouse, with 91 per cent of its reviews either four or five stars.
A poster described The Woodhouse, which is run by Paul Pitcher and his wife Danielle, as “exquisite” from “the atmosphere to the service to the food”.
Rocks on Rosalind sits in third position on the ever-changing charts, followed by The Brougham Arms Hotel and Grill'd Healthy Burgers.
Mr Beebe’s Eating House and Bar, Food O Clock, Bouchon, Wine Bank on View and Sim R Cafe rounded out an eclectic top 10.
Sonia Anthony, who runs Masons of Bendigo with husband Nick, said review websites such as TripAdvisor could be very persuasive for potential diners.
"Nick and I use (TripAdvisor) when we go to a different region and want to try something new," she said.
"This sort of instant feedback is something that's come out of the whole social media and digital age.
"It's a fantastic resource for feedback that you just didn't have 10 years ago in the hospitality industry."
The husband and wife team opened Masons on Bendigo in the old WD Mason's glass factory in Queen Street about three-and-a-half years ago.
The menu features a mix of English, French and Asian-inspired dishes designed to be shared among friends.
Mrs Anthony said a key to the restaurant's success was a paddock-to-plate ethos aimed at showcasing the best fresh produce central Victoria has to offer.
"Our really big focus is on our local producers and creating direct relationships with them, as well as promoting ethical and sustainable farming practices," she said.
There were few quibbles from The Advertiser's Facebook followers with Masons of Bendigo coming out at number one.
Melissa McKenna said the restaurant was "well worth the accolades", while Caroline Whitfort said she "totally" agreed and that "Masons is my favourite by far".
But Beth Elizabeth nominated Rocks on Rosalind as her favourite and Chris Hain said any list without The Dispensary, which came in at 11, "cannot be credible".
While TripAdvisor is one of the world's most popular hospitality websites, it has attracted plenty of controversy due to the ease with which fraudulent reviews can be posted.