Located in Bairnsdale, Northern Ground is simply a gem. A café by day and restaurant by night, it exudes a calming presence, enveloping a cosy space where you can find delightfully welcoming and warm service.
The kitchen is in safe hands with chef/owner Rob Turner, at the helm. Originally from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, Turner worked as a food development chef for Marks and Spencer and in country house hotels in the North of England. Northern Ground has only been opened for a few months but it already has a strong fan base and it’s easy to understand why.
A strong advocate for promoting East Gippsland regional produce, the menu is wonderfully inviting and boasts contemporary food that is just absolutely moreish. His masterful menu is created by combining modern European cooking with traditional Italian and Mediterranean ﬂavours that tantalise the senses. We opted to leave our dining experience in the capable hands of Turner. This was a decision we did not regret. All dishes were elegant, wonderfully presented and packed full of flavour. Turner has seriously upped the ante on what the region is offering with dishes that are finessed, cohesive, imaginative and most importantly, delicious.
The dish of Portarlington mussels was the first dish to grace our presence. The mussels were exceedingly fresh and boasted a natural sweetness which was enhanced by being cooked with Luckes Smokehouse Bacon, Sailors Grave Ale and Snowy River Beach Herbs. Swimming in a Bacon Butter Broth this was one tasty dish that was best mopped up crusty bread.
To follow, we loved the caramelised onion and Maffra cheddar tart - rich and creamy with a buttery pastry. The accompanying Johnsonville Apple salad provided a delightful acidity and freshness to the dish.
The grilled whole lakes entrance sardines, were again, delicious. Cooked to perfection and served with Snowy River black garlic emulsion, nettle gremolata and herbs this was a thoroughly modern and delicious dish.
For meat lovers the Grass Fed Flat Iron Steak is one dish you simply cannot miss. Displaying a mastery in the manner the steak was cooked, the inch thick cut of steak was cooked perfectly from end to end. A light searing ensured that it was lined with a thin crisp layer packed with caramelised beef flavour. Topper with Cafe De Paris Butter, Rosemary and Garlic Parmentier Potato and a Caesar Salad, this was perfection on a plate.
Dessert time showcased Turner’s versatility - A beautifully assembled Picnic Point Rhubarb Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream and Meristem Mint. Heavenly!
With a delicious menu, relaxed ambience and great service, Northern Ground is designed to cater for the dining needs and taste buds of discerning customers.
Location: 144 Main Street, Bairnsdale
Phone: 0426 290 910