New Gippsland restaurant receives Good Food Guide hat

Sardine Eatery + Bar awarded in its first year of operation

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Sardine Eatery and Bar, Paynesville

Sardine Eatery and Bar, Paynesville [©Jessica Shapiro]


Innovative new-comer, Sardine Eatery + Bar, has certainly made an impression on Victoria’s food and wine industry – being awarded a hat in The Good Food Guide 2019 in its first year of operation.

This accolade holds great significance for Gippsland’s emerging food and drink scene, as it is the first hat in the region since Neilsons Restaurant in 2006-2013.

Sardine Eatery + Bar opened is owned and operated by ex-Vue de Monde chef Mark Briggs and Manager Victoria Briggs, and while the restaurant is new, the team behind it boasts some very impressive industry experience.

Mark has 20 years’ experience as a chef, working in some of the world’s top restaurants under chefs including Pierre Koffman, Mauro Bregoli and Shannon Bennett. Meanwhile, Victoria has 15 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, including 8 years managing a range of venues in Melbourne.

The couple only uncovered the potential of the Gippsland Lakes region when Victoria’s mother moved to the area, and as they got to know the region they were inspired by the abundance of amazing and under-utilized produce in East Gippsland.

Mark and Victoria found a venue with potential, right on the waterfront in Paynesville and jumped at it, opening Sardine Eatery + Bar on the 26th October 2017.

Living in Melbourne, the ingredient that Mark and Victoria knew Gippsland for was Sardines. So when they relocated, it only felt right to name the restaurant after this local delicacy.

Items on the Sardine Eatery + Bar menu change every few days, depending on what ingredients are available on the day, that is, what the fisherman have caught. The seasonal menu is perfectly matched with a selection of quality Gippsland craft-beer and wines including Lightfoot & sons, Narkoojee, Bass River, William Downie, Tambo, Nicholson River and Dirty Three wines; Sailor’s Grave and Grand Ridge beer; and Alpine Dry Cider.

The Good Food Guide 2019 Awards were held at Crown Melbourne on Monday the 8th of October, the celebrations were attended by 800 of the restaurant industry's biggest names and catered by chefs Alejandro Saravia, Neil Perry and Guillaume Brahimi.

Read more about The Good Food Guide here »

A new gourmet guide to Gippsland has also just been released »



  • Gippsland (VIC)

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October 18th, 2018
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