Northern Ground brings bistro flavor to Bairnsdale



Rob Turner is a West Yorkshire chef who serves the kind of tasty bistro fare you would expect from famous gastro pubs in the north of England. Only this northerner is firmly anchored in Bairnsdale.

After moving to Gippsland three years ago to work as a food development manager for a manufacturer, Turner met a local girl and fell in love. In September, he opened Northern Ground on bustling Bairnsdale’s main drag, taking over and renovating a run-down cafe. This week it is adding a dinner service on Fridays and Saturdays.

There is clearly a demand for good food in the area. The Sardine de Paynesville is going gangbusters and the Long Paddock in Lindenow is doing well.

Northern Ground, on the bustling Main Street of Bairnsdale. Photo: Richard Cornish

At Northern Ground, Turner has teamed up with the region’s top farmers, food producers and winemakers to present dishes such as spring asparagus, grown on a farm 3½ miles from his kitchen, grilled and served with fresh l chopped candied shallot rich in umami, goat feta and lightly spiced carrot leaf pesto.

Better yet, the signature dish of the Lyonnaise salad with grilled beef hearts. Imagine thin slices of lean but tasty steak, grilled to the point, perfectly seasoned, topped with bitter leaves, lardons of heavily smoked bacon, sprigs of dill and strips of crispy croutons topped with a runny egg. Served with a glass of Lightfoot & Sons Shiraz grown across the Mitchell River, it’s worth the 3.5-hour drive from Melbourne.

Open Mon-Fri 8 am-5pm, Sat 8 am-2pm, Fri-Sat 6 pm-9pm

Northern Ground Chief Rob Turner.

Northern Ground Chief Rob Turner. Photo: Richard Cornish

144 Main Street, Bairnsdale, 03 5152 1544


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