New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published August 23rd 2016
Colour and crayons at this family friendly cafe
Public Place is a new café that has opened in the Tuggeranong suburb of Chisholm in July 2016 - just six weeks ago at the time of writing. It is located in the Chisholm shops, tucked away next to the local butcher, CJ Meats, who supplies the café with its fresh meat for their extensive menu. Public Place also uses local free range eggs from around the region and all their sourdough bread is supplied by the popular Danny's Bakery in Narrabundah. It is this community approach to the café which appeals to the locals, with the café a resounding success in its first weeks of trade. With funky murals, friendly staff and creative food on the menu, it looks like Public Place has cemented itself in the local Chisolm community.
When my young daughter and I went to check out the café for the first time, the signage wasn't easy to see - tucked away in a corner behind the shopping centre playground. It is this location however, that makes it is so handy for families as parents can sit outside and watch their kids play, whilst enjoying a large latte in the sun.
It is when you walk inside the café that you really get the full effect of this grungy and stylish café. With wire fencing on the roof, construction signs in front of the open kitchen, exposed brick and concrete graffiti on the walls - it is a feast for the eyes as soon as you walk in. Public Place was a lot bigger than I anticipated from the outside, with a variety of tables and chairs, a soft comfy couch and high bench tables to sit at and admire the murals that adorn each wall.
Outside seating area with colourful drums overlooking the playground
According to their Facebook, owner Sandra "wanted our place to be a place where everyone could belong and call it their own. I wanted everyone - whether it be young or old, vegetarian or meat lover, coeliac or dairy/lactose intolerant - to come and get something to eat and drink and fit in".
Their inclusive approach of wanting everyone in the public to enjoy this café is evident in the menu with Gluten Free, Vegan and Paleo options available upon request. For breakfast you can choose between creatively titled "Chooks Bum Nuts on Toast" ($8), "Man of Steel Big Brekky" ($23), "My Big Fat Greek Omelette" ($17) as well as several other creative choices on the menu. The breakfast kids menu for under 12's includes "Kidz Pikelets served with Nutella, vanilla ice cream and strawberries" ($10) and "Boc Boc Eggs on Toast" ($8). There is also a large range of muffins, cakes and croissants to also enjoy, many gluten free.
This venue is also particularly kid friendly, with a little play area with colouring in and toddler toys to play with while they wait for their food. This colourful little area is a popular spot for the under 5's, with small chairs perfect for this age group. It is easy to see that this cafe will become a haven for families with small children, 7 days a week.
My young daughter and I decided to try it out on a weekday lunch, when we hoped it may be a little quieter than the popular weekend trade. With a promise of a kids area and a tasty lunch, my daughter was eager to jump in the car and go. After checking out the Menu before we left, I knew the "House Baked Cool Dawgs - Skinless franks wrapped in pastry baked with a side of chips and tommy sauce" ($8) would be a winning lunchtime treat.
As we looked around the café, that was quickly filling up, there were numerous families at each table, enjoying the kid friendly menu and in particular, the "Cool Dawgs". The review from Miss Five came back glowing - however she couldn't eat the second one or finish her chips as it was quite filling. When I tried it myself I could see why she loved it, however if you have younger kids you could easily share this plate for two.
House Baked Cool Dawgs off the Kids Menu - rated 5 Stars by Miss Five.
For myself, I decided to try the "Mary had a little….Burger - Slow cooked pulled lamb, aioli, rocket, fire roasted capsicum, crumbed Persian fetta & house tzatziki on a soft white roll with fries" ($16). When it arrived, my lamb burger tasted as good as it looked. The heaviness of the meat was cut through with the tzatziki sauce and fetta to balance out the flavours. The chips, in particular, were equally as tasty. It was a delicious meal, enjoyed in comfortable and attractive surroundings, with plenty of colour and activity to watch around us.
My daughter and I had an enjoyable time at Public Place. As soon as we walked in we both said "Wow" as the colour and style of the venue was a pleasant smack in the face. If you are a Tuggeranong local looking for a new coffee shop or breakfast café, then Public Place is a must to try out this weekend. With Lazy Mays and Common Grounds two other popular Tuggeranong cafes with murals and style, Public Place fits right in to this modern style of cafes popping up in the area. There is now no need to drive into the city or Lonsdale Street for a modern café with delicious food and style. It is all waiting for us at the local Chisholm shops.
The colourful murals alone are sure to brighten your day! Source: Facebook