English chef-owner Rob Turner wants you to know the provenance of what’s on your plate.

A quick scan of the menu at his Bairnsdale cafe-bistro will inform you his vegetables hail from the flood plains of Lindenow, the cheddar is pressed in Maffra, sardines are caught in Lakes Entrance, and the garlic is cultivated along the Snowy River. More than a menu, it’s a map of East Gippsland’s terroir and celebration of its farmers and fishers.

Turner has tailored his classical French training and experience working in the Yorkshire countryside to champion the local, seasonal produce of Gippsland.

Keep an eye on the specials board, which features the likes of Mallacoota sea urchin with scrambled eggs and crème fraîche on La Matanza sourdough for breakfast, or locally foraged pine and slippery jack mushrooms with housemade brioche, whipped ricotta and hazelnuts for lunch. On Friday and Saturday evenings, expect bistro-brasserie fare like Portarlington mussels cooked with Luckes Smokehouse bacon, Sailors Grave ale, Snowy River beach herbs and a bacon-butter broth, or the braised Gippsland beef cheek with cauliflower puree, local nettle gremolata and a parmesan crumb.

On the liquid front, there are local beers from Sailors Grave, Bullant Brewery and Blizzard Brewing Company, and wine from Tambo Wine, Lightfoot & Sons and Nicholson River Winery to round out your edible education.

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Updated: August 28th, 2021

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