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The Long Paddock

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There is no smoke or mirrors at The Long Paddock in the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Lindenow. It’s just quality local produce, cooked right, enjoyed in an ambient cafe.

The chef duo Tanya Bertino and Anton Eisenmenger have worked in a star-studded lineup of fine-dining restaurants, but The Long Paddock is about going back to basics. They honour their abundant East Gippsland home by championing its produce and creating honest flavours.

The mid-century building, a former bakery, maintains its original facade and bursts with character. The dining rooms’ centrepiece is the charming old scotch oven. It has been lovingly restored and fills the air with its heavenly aromas, like a smoke signal for the food gods.

The meals might be simple, but they are by no means unrefined. The Long Paddock showcases classic French patisserie-style food, where the humble pie is king. You may find such delights as a Maffra cheddar tart with spinach and watercress grown around the corner, chilled gazpacho with Lakes Entrance prawn toasts or house-made gnocchi with seasonal vegetables.

And there’s no going past the Sunday roast, cooked in the scotch oven. The slow, gentle heat produces a moisture-rich and flavoursome roast, adding the smokiness of the wood fire.

Everything about the cafe ticks the boxes for warmth and traditional country hospitality. From the exceptionally friendly local staff, the casual and rustic decor, to the open kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work preparing the day’s meals. This is relaxed and unpretentious dining at its best.

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