Long Table Bar & Dining Room
159 Shoreham Road, Red Hill, VIC
03 5989 2326
When Andrew and Samantha established The Long Table ten years ago they never thought that their humble restaurant would become such an integral part of the Red Hill landscape or become so enmeshed in the fabric of their own lives. Running a small business like The Long Table for over a decade has certainly been challenging at times, particularly with a young family of four children, but it has enabled Andrew and Samantha to forge an identity for themselves that they can be proud of.
It has also enriched their lives through the relationships with their staff, producers, growers, vignerons and, of course, their clientele over the years. Some of these relationships go back as far as school days for Samantha who grew up in neighbouring Main Ridge and who is always pleasantly surprised to discover so many of the local traders, growers and customers are familiar faces from her past.
When asked to describe their restaurant and the style of the food they offer, both Andrew and Samantha struggle to categorise what they do other than to say it comes from the heart.
“Like most of the neighbouring restaurants and wineries we are driven by the seasons and the produce that it delivers” said Andrew. “We may all use similar produce at certain times of the year but you can guarantee that each of the dishes you taste from the various venues will be unique.”
One thing that remains consistent in Andrew’s food is innovation and the element of surprise. “Food should first and foremost taste great but I have always enjoyed the playful and fun side of food and this is what keeps me inspired to keep cooking,” he said.
A major renovation of the restaurant four years ago was also part of this constant need to innovate and re-invent. Along with this reinvention came recognition in 2012 and 2013 of a chef’s hat from the Age Good Food Guide. More recently though, Andrew and Samantha have felt that trends in dining out have changed and people are looking for a more relaxed way to enjoy their food with friends and family. They have responded to this by offering an array of fun alternatives to their a la carte menu such as ‘Friday night Fish & Chips’ and the Wednesday Night set menu special with a glass of wine, and Sunday night BYO wine which has been keeping the locals nourished and quenched for the last ten years…..and all for a bargain!!
In the warmer months the restaurant offers up alfresco dining on the deck, a licensed grassy courtyard and outdoor bocce. In winter, the lounge area in front of the fireplace complete with a chess set, eclectic old books and an array of Andrew’s favourite cook books is a coveted place to while away the time. Visitors often feel like they have stepped into Andrew & Samantha’s own home with its antique timber tables, old church pews and framed posters from their travels around the world. “Freedom, adventure and trust define our menu” says Samantha “and genuine warmth and personality define our style”.