Sardine Eatery + Bar, Paynesville

PAYNESVILLE | One of the things that I was most looking forward to on my little road trip before the NSW part had to be canned due to COVID border closures, was fresh oysters from Bateman’s Bay.⁣
Thankfully, I got my fill of the good stuff at chef Mark Briggs’ (ex Vue de Monde, Sharing House) lauded East Gippsland restaurant, Sardine Eatery + Bar. The restaurant is one that constantly comes up as “must dine” whenever anyone talks about where to eat in this part of Victoria, and for good reason.⁣
Sardine offers pared back fine dining, with a focus on sustainability, lesser utilised fish, and the bounty of produce around him. I opted for the degustation, and left the menu decisions in Mark’s hands.⁣
Freshly shucked rock oysters with shallot vinegar are as fresh as you can get. Sea salt Khorosan sourdough with cultured Gippsland Jersey seaweed butter is an umani laden delight.⁣
The crispy zucchini flower with goats cheese and Raymond Island honey is divine. As is the garlic panisse with whipped cod’s roe and Yarra Valley Caviar. Even something as simple as the hand filleted sardines with herb oil, and toasted sourdough are outstanding.

A palate cleanser of strawberry done three ways (fresh, freeze dried, sorbet) is surprisingly memorable, and you can’t go past a dessert of peanut butter parfait chocolate sorbet, gaufrette biscuit.

The wine list is tops and skews local, and for beer lovers, Sardine offers the best Sailor’s Grave craft beer can selection of anywhere I visited on my week long East Gippsland trip.

Reputation, deserved.

Sardine Eatery + Bar

3/69A Esplanade
Victoria 3880

Telephone: (03) 9421 2418
E-mail: [email protected]

Tue – Thu: 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 2:00pm to 10:00pm

Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.


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