Public is leading the charge on Brisbane's dining scene. Championing a shared plate revolution in the Sunshine State, this smartly placed restaurant has retained one chef's hat since its opening in 2012. You wouldn't know this place was two years young, with a rather snazzy interior and a nice energy which certainly exudes from the kitchen. Set on the first floor of the 400 George St skyscraper, this is a fancy departure from the laid back vibes that scream Brisvegas. Public is here to shake things up and prove a point.
A modern, rather sedate venue by day. At night, the mood lighting strikes (again) and the requisite taxidermy animals make a bold show of it Source: Time Out
Chef Damon Amos is obviously a man of few words because the menu is positively monosyllabic, and not in a bad way. Share plates are the name of the game and each dish is listed as a few ingredients, letting your imagination do the rest. This style of food is instantly recognisable and perfect for groups. What you get is a happy union of ingredients that aren't traditionally paired, with the inclusion of a few oddballs like Black ants and sea lettuce (where does one acquire such things?). Keeping the diner on their toes, which I like. The result is that Public is a jack of all trades, for a quick drink and pre-dinner snack or a full blown banquet - anything's possible. And as a location for private functions, it's an emphatic yes (from me, anyway).
|Public Nuisance. Fresh strawberries combined with cucumber and elderflower, Beefeater gin and sparkling wine. A rather refreshing sup in a champagne saucer i.e. old school. Those who know me understand my devotion to gin as a beverage|
|Beetroot, cumquat, dukkah. Side dishes are notoriously boring but this one was a side for the ages. Beetroot done several ways with a smattering of powder. A cumquat puree at the bottom, dukkah and labna. Everything you could possibly ever need|
|Prawn, Jerusalem Artichoke, Sea Lettuce. A delicious prawn dish, the sauce at the bottom had this beautiful rich, nuttiness (thanks to the peanuts, duh. Greatness!|
What's nice about Public is that they lose the pretension that so many restaurants down south are infamous for. The food is absolutely not to be sniffed at, with flavours that are bold and playful. Let's not forget the plating which is all about detail adding different textures of ingredients. And the relaxed atmosphere is there, from the moment you're welcomed to when last drinks hit the table. Even now, it's difficult to get a reservation at Public; we were lucky enough to secure seats at the bar on a weekday. Here they are, doing their own thing in Brissie and building a reputation for themselves. It's kind of refreshing.