SARDINE eatery + bar

4.7
140 reviews
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$41 to $100
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Modern Australian
With a kitchen team led by award winning chef, Mark Briggs, our sharing style menu focuses on the amazing fresh local produce of Gippsland. The menu features charcuterie & cheeses, little nibbles for all to taste, hand made pasta made with Forge Creek free range eggs, lamb, beef + seafood caught in the lakes.

The drinks list features award winning local wines such as Lightfoot & Sons and beers from Sailors Grave & Grand Ridge. Wines from further afield in Australia include Riesling from South Australia, Pinot Noir from Mornington + Tasmania, Tempranillo from Spain + the Yarra Valley, Sauvignon Blanc from Tasmania + New Zealand & international wines from South Africa, France, Spain, Italy + Portugal.

On the esplanade in Paynesville, SARDINE eatery + bar has wonderful views of the lakes & Raymond Island, a natural koala habitat + is the perfect place to visit during a day on the lakes.
What 140 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SB
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sardine is our favourite restaurant - Graham enjoyed his birthday lunch!

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MF
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly staff, & the food was superb, a great selection of fish & seafood. The weather was rather cool for outside dining, we enjoyed the ambience & comfort of the indoor restaurant.

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PK
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Stunning starters including the sardines. Just go there and eat 'em
Personally, I'd load up on the starters and double up on the sardines rather than make room for the mains. They were OK. But the eel, ox tongue terrine and those little fishies are superb

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M
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Sardine was as good as we'd heard it was. I'm glad I'm local and can come back often.

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R
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Inventive chef using delicious local ingredients. Scrumptious. Looking forward to our next visit.

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TG
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Feel lucky to have a restaurant of this caliber in such a small town but it’s such a celebration of our beautiful region.

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JS
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another amazing meal at Sardines. Next time I am trying the chefs menu

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IB
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Better than ever it is so good to have a top restaurant in the country with staff that can answer all our questions on the food etc. We could not ask for a more pleasant outlook and meal.

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RS
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Would absolutely recommend Sardine to others.
Fantastic food and great service. Thoroughly enjoyed our meal. It's not a cheap meal out but you pay for what you get - very high quality food.
The location is a little surprising though. When walking along the main drag of Paynesville, it is easy to miss Sardine as it is nestled in amongst the other shops along the waterfront. From outside, you might think it is another cafe or fish and chip shop. Not what you normally expect from such a high-class restaurant. Not really a private, secluded and romantic venue. You're on display to the passing pedestrians. If you're sitting on the outside deck or at the front of the restaurant, you do have a nice view of the marina though.
If you're not looking for the more traditional private/romantic restaurant venue, don't let the location put you off. The food really is amazing and is worth the rave reviews. The special of Moreton Bay Bugs were our favourite.

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ML
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Dined for the second time at Sardine. Fantastic local seafood cooked to perfection with a great wine list and also friendly and knowledgeable service. A must to go if your around the Gippsland Lakes

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KY
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently beautiful food - everything was delicious! My highlight was the snapper fillet with peas and bacon. Will be back.

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SC
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A local gem with perfect food and attentive service. Couldn’t recommend it highly enough! Food is fresh and innovative, sourced locally. We’ll definitely be back.

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EK
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had such an amazing experience with the chef’s selection for lunch. Sitting out on the deck was perfect, with views of the water but protected from the breeze with modern glass barriers. Wonderful service from the staff, and really enjoyed trying things that I wouldn’t usually choose- every single one was delicious! The wine selection is great, and I would have to give special mention to the Passionate Mojito cocktail. Would highly recommend to anyone heading to Paynesville or the East Gippsland area, a real treat.

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RM
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

What a great addition to East Gippsland. Our lunchtime meal was outstanding. Fresh seafood, beautiful flavours, excellent service. The only disappointment was our table of four being seated in a dark corner, when there were better vacant tables available at front of restaurant. Really a minor concern though as everything else was amazing.

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m
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We were a group of 5 (including 2 kids) and we were not disappointed with the food. Every dish we ordered was exquisite and bloody delicious. The bugs, roasted fillet and whole fish were stand outs! Even the kids commented on how tasty the mash potatoes were. Dessert is a must! The only minor negative was the annoying flies.

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DS
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Have not eaten here before,recommended by friends,we shared our 59th.wedding anniversary,and my 70th Birthday.We totally enjoyed the beautifully cooked/presented meal ,friendly,attentive staff.made our evening VERY special. thank you so much xx

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LA
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We've been trying a few one hat restaurants lately to compare them to our local, amazing one hatter. Whilst this was very pleasant and the food was locally sourced and innovative, we didn't really have any OMG moments. Still it was a great find in an area that has few other good food options. Definitely worth going to.

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L
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As usual just fantastic! See you again soon

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CH
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always sensational food using local fresh produce, amazing presentation and great service. A Coastal dining winner.

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SB
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday lunch was just fantastic! Great ambiance with fantastic chef and staff.

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TB
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic night out with great people!

Five of us - tried a little of everything; shared plates around. Tempura Sardines, whitebait, zucchini flowers (also in tempura) drizzled with honey! Spectacular night. Lot’s to eat, good bread, olives, oysters....

Fabulous Lightfoot Rosé, limoncello, Sailors Grave Peach Melba beer...

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TH
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fantastic lunch, fresh seafood and seasonal produce. Service was friendly and professional we will be back again.

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GB
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic in every way a must for seafood lovers. We dined with our friends who are food experts and they were impressed with all aspects of the restaurants

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BW
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food (extremely delicious) and a tribute to the area. Service was exemplary and the location/view was superb.

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JC
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very exciting for a small fishing village town to have such a wonderful restaurant serving seasonal produce beautifully cooked in a modern setting. Wait staff are extremely knowledgeable and delightfully accomodating catering effortlessly for dietary requirements. I would highly recommend this restaurant if you are visiting Paynesville.

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D
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My partner and I decided to go on a day trip from our holiday house. Couldn’t have been happier to stumble across this gem. My wife is in the hospitality industry and is very particular in so many aspects ie: staff, decor, food, wine, quality, how clean it it’s ect ect. My wife actually said “I don’t want to leave here” we dine out a lot and this is right up there with some of our favourites such as coda, longgrain, flower drum and the espy.
Hats off for creating a fantastic venue and we can’t wait to visit again

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E
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 4

Got the chefs selection, $75 per person. Thought that would be a taste of everything but we basically got just fish. First thing that came out was bread with sardine butter, that’s normally a complimentary dish at most places but it was included as one of our dishes second dish was four tiny sardines in some sort of vinegar, hardly a dish. Also got prosciutto with some peaches and some more fish... their was oysters and calamari on the menu so I thought we’d get some more variety. We didn’t see it value for money considering we were both still hungry after leaving. Got sick of pickled fish. We probably won’t be back and it’s a shame because we are local and was looking forward to trying it.

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DF
Sydney / NSW
2 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. We had the tasting menu with matching wines and loved everything!

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JD
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Surpassed all of our expectations — this is seafood done brilliantly. Paynesville finally has a restaurant that does justice to its surrounds.

We are not normally seafood fans but enjoyed everything we ate, and even went the extra mile to ensure we got every bit of flesh off the bone!

Worth a detour, or if you’re a Paynesville local, worth some repeat visits.

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A
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

It's wonderful to be able to have a restaraunt of Melbourne standard locally

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LN
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow! What a fantastic find. Absolutely amazing food, wine and cocktails. Produce was fresh and local and Chef Mark created an incredible feast both visually and in taste! Perfect to share and experience the full dining experience. All of the staff were so lovely, knowledgeable and passionate about their workplace. Clearly they are respected and looked after by the owner which we love to see and hear. We will most definitely be back! Thank You Sardines!

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OT
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, informative, helpful and intelligent waitress Food arrived in a timely manner... locally sourced ingredients delivering a celebration of the local producers on a plate ....again, great food

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SG
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always excellent food and service. Love that they use local produce and local wines.

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J
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our anniversary celebration as well as a birthday for John. Traveled from Brisbane to see parents who recommended you eatery. They had been there before. Wonderful afternoon. John Wordsworth

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TH
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We experienced excellent service from staff who understood the menu and could explain it clearly. The food was delicious - we had a variety of dishes, all shared. It is definitely a restaurant that we will return to in due course.

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BS
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Sardine Eatery and Bar was a delightful surprise. We weren't expecting to find a 1 hatted restaurant just around the corner from our accomodation. Every course at was delicious and perfect for sharing! From the spiced pumpkin and sunflower seed mix, heirloom tomato salad, prawns and white bait, roasted snapper, whole coral perch, and roast lamb shoulder and rump, to the strawberry delight dessert - it was all scrumptious. It was the perfect way to finish a day out boating! Definitely recommend booking a few days ahead as they were busy.

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JT
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding service and as always exemplary food but exceeded previous experience in terms of execution of balance and completeness of dishes. The wine list. The wine list is something to explore with a good balance of local/ international wines with the inclusion of coravin wines being available making this list worthy of the highest accolades. Some amaros and drier Sherry/Madeira would add to the experience pre and post meal. A good balance of beer styles from new modern interpretations from locals sailors grave and mass produced favourites. Always a pleasure. Will be back.

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SO
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fabulous dinner at Sardine. Great flavours, super fresh and a bit different. Service was fantastic and attentive. The honey dessert was so good that we went for a second round. Would definitely come back!

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AB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We loved the food, fish was super fresh and cooked to perfection! Highly recommend

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DB
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sardine is pioneering for this style of restaurant in East Gippsland - local produce, cooked superbly, delivered with professional service.
Great couple with a history in Melbourne's top venues, utilising the superb local seafood and produce.

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