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Kate shares her top eats in East Gippsland!

Kate is in East Gippsland checking out some of the best the region has to offer.

It’s not her first time there, either.

She visited in December and scoped out the best places to eat and drink.

So, if you’re looking to book a trip of your own to East Gippsland, check out Kate’s tips below!

SARDINE, PAYNESVILLE

Sardine Eatery is all about sustainable seafood eating. 

Mark Briggs has a lot to answer for, he was responsible for my romantic first date with the now love of my life, all the way back at his days at Dig A Pony in Yarraville.

Before that he was at Vue de Monde, and somewhere in between the Sharing House. Back in the UK, the defining experience was at Pierre Koffman’s three Michelin-starred La Tante Claire kitchen in London. 

Now, he’s set up in the produce-rich region of East Gippsland in the 60-seater Sardine. Mark is in the kitchen, his wife Victoria on the floor. They received an Age Good Food Guide hat in their first year of operation. 

The food is tremendous. We had the famed local whole Lakes Entrance sardines, with smoked heirloom tomato butter and sorrel. Stunning.

Other standouts? Smoked rainbow trout pate on a house-made seeded lavosh. And the must order main for me? The fish fillet of the day (on this day a beautiful fresh snapper) with surf clams, peas, bacon, beach herbs and creamy mash.  

NORTHERN GROUND, BAIRNSDALE

A typical café inside, a gorgeous courtyard outside, Northern Ground is a surprise packet in many regards. Owner and chef Rob Turner is a Yorkshireman who has plenty of British-inspired dishes on the menu, but is seriously passionate about the produce at his fingertips in East Gippsland. 

Highlights on our visit? A disturbingly good Maffra cheddar tart with home-made pastry; and house-made brioche topped with Gippsland Pearl mushrooms and poached Forge Creek free-range eggs.

 

THE LONG PADDOCK, LINDENOW

The Long Paddock is one of those special places that stays with you.

It feels like a typical shopfront, in a typical country town. The views from the window to the surprising food bowl that is this tucked-away-town are breathtaking.

In the tiny village of Lindenow, former local Tanya Bertino has worked as a chef around the world, and returned to take over the former bakery with her hubby Anton. Part café-part restaurant, The Long Paddock was unbelievably popular with locals on the Sunday we visited, so we were lucky to have a booking.

It’s an ever-changing menu, determined largely by the produce available on the day – but think spicy nduja arancini; hand-rolled gnocchi with Lakes Entrance scallops & bouillabaisse sauce; or a salad of local asparagus & buffalo mozzarella with garlic sourdough croutons and vierge dressing.

Everything about this place is genuine and adorable, from the food itself, or the mismatched crockery and the affable and knowledgable staff.

Don’t miss this one if you are in the area.

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