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Published April 16th 2015
Push on at The Public Bar & Restaurant
The Public, Cammeray - image Facebook
The Public opening just two weeks ago is a new restaurant and bar in Cammeray's popular dining precinct. The owners James and Will Christopher are no newcomers to the scene, they also own The Laneway and Ms Miller in Cammeray. The Public has taken the space that was once the popular Epoque - Belgium Beer Cafe. This time the brothers have teamed up with Damien Burrows to totally transform the space to a venue with a slight cosmopolitan panache.
No longer a dark wood traditional Belgium Bar, the new fit-out has taken advantage of the elongated space. The complete insides have been stripped bare to create the latest inclination in contemporary design, of all things light and airy - the final result is a modern chic venue with a Scandinavian essence.
A palette of muted hues, whitewashed walls highlight pastel teal banquettes creating vibrancy and warmth to the clean look. Varied seating from dining, communal, high bench stools, soft banquette booths, or bar stools for easy chats or solo diners.
The menu has been created by Head Chef James Featherstone, (ex British Masterchef Professionals series) slanting towards modern Mediterranean Pub Grub and some classic Greek. A selection of share plates such as Hummus dips, pan fried Kefalograviera cheese, fried Baby Squid, Chargrilled Octopus and more. Large platters of traditional Greek Lamb Kleftiko (slow roasted lamb shoulder) that will melt in your mouth, barbecued Chicken, Meatballs and dips are also available for groups.
I arrived close to 9 pm after the 'Art Gallery After Dark Event'. I wasn't overly hungry but wanted something light. I was tempted by the Fish Pie in the Pub classic menu, still not what I had in mind. I'm not really a fan of sharing either, as the 'Miss Piggy' in me usually wants more to eat than my friends, who are constantly dieting. I asked the waiter if they could do the kid's Fish and Chips and they were happy to oblige.
I was pleased to see that it wasn't the standard fish cocktails pieces you would expect for a kid's meal. To be honest it was one of the nicest fish and chips I had tasted in a while. The batter was light and crispy and the fish fillet cooked perfectly. The chips were also cooked just right with a large side lettuce leaf topped with a spoon of peas and a fresh mint leaf. This was a lovely garnish leaving a burst of mint flavour on my palate. Kids will eat well here!
It was late but the place was still buzzing with local residents winding down after their busy work day. There was a good mix of ages which was pleasing to see as often new bars are taken over by the Gen Y. We struck up some conversation with fellow patrons gathering around the bar and attained that a couple of them lived in nearby Mosman. They now claimed The Public to be their new favourite local. Plenty of choice from the bar list and they even offer complimentary still and sparkling water on Tap.