I still remember the day when I stumbled upon Public – a minimalistic and classy-looking restaurant and bar that is tucked away around the corner from busy Waymouth Street. Having been in business for just over 3 years now, owners James and Danielle have recently been in the process of revamping the way the place operates.
#PublicWineDown is a fairly new concept, where Public is open from 3pm-late and offers its customers with the luxury of enjoying extended hours at their restaurant. Particularly aimed at the office crowd (but welcome to the general public as well, pun intended), Public provides a space where people can “wind down” with some after-work drinks and tasty treats from their “Finger and Fork” menu, courtesy of new head chef Shane Piercy.
The space at Public can best be described as minimalistic, with a touch of vintage. I loved how clean the place looked, which made it all the more appealing and inviting. The chilled beats played at Public made it seem like I was back in a cute, little café back in Europe. The hospitality of the staff was incredible, where all our dining needs were well looked after.
The team at Adelaide Food Central was invited to sample some of the items from the “Finger and Fork” menu, where all food and drink was provided free of charge.
We started off our dining session at the Public with a cocktail – the Flamingo cocktail – which was infused with gin, apricot brandy, lime juice, grenadine. The bright pink colour and the elegant presentation of the cocktail made this drink just as enticing. Tasting super sweet and super strong from the double alcoholic content mix of gin and brandy, this cocktail definitely gave the ‘pop’ factor it was aiming for! I could have easily gone for more of the same drink, because after a couple of sips, it tasted like a candy cane – a Christmas celebration in my mouth!
For food, we were served with four dishes, which are described below.
The Ashed Chevre with baby beet, olive oil, basil, and bread was an exquisite and beautiful-looking dish, where the smoothness of the cheese complemented the crunchiness from the bread. The vibrant colours and the sweetness of the baby beetroots made these babies all the more delightful to devour. It might sound like a very simple dish, but it was such an enjoyable one at that!
Next, we had the Duck Leg Croquettes, which were basically duck meatballs, sprinkled with panko crumbs, and served with cherry mayonnaise for dipping. I loved how the meat was so tender and tore so easily to little chunks. The mayonnaise had a sweetness that balanced out the more savoury flavours in the duck meat and made this entire dish very appetizing.
We then tried the Chargrilled Broccoli, which was seasoned with yoghurt, currants, and pistachio. This was another refreshing dish, where you could taste the chargrilled smoky goodness in the broccoli. The yoghurt gave it a cooling aftertaste, and the currants and the pistachios brought about a sweetness in this dish that worked brilliantly.
The main dish – the star dish – was the 5-hour Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder, with duck fat potatoes, apple & mint jelly. “Orgasmically divine” is the best way to describe this dish, for the meat was so succulent and tender, that it practically melted off the bone. The apple and mint jelly was a fantastic side to accompany the meat, because it not only provided for a refreshing aftertaste, but also could have easily been enjoyed by itself. The sweetness from the jelly worked well with the crispiness of the potatoes as well, although the potatoes were just as good by themselves.
As much as we didn’t want our feast at the Public to be over, we were starting to wonder why we didn’t wear elastic pants instead of tight clothes that could no longer fit our satisfied tummies in them! However, we couldn’t leave without stopping by the cheese stand that was brought to the city by guest cheese maker Kym Masters from Section28 Artisan Cheeses. Based in the Adelaide Hills, Kym provided us with a bit of a background about the three types of cheese that he brought along to the tasting.
The Mont Priscilla was another 3-month old cheese, which was named after the location close to the family farm. With a semi-soft and washed-rind cheese and an ash-like texture down the middle that is purely there for appearance, this cheese was silky and subtle in taste.
The Monforte was the 6-month old cheese that has classic Alpine-style feature, which is made from cow’s milk and presents with a complex, subtle flavour. The cheese tasted smooth and riveting, with a beautiful combination of a sweet, creamy texture and a fruity aftertaste with some earthly undertones.
Public Wine Down is the perfect experience that the work crowd would thoroughly enjoy after a long week’s labour. With some delicious bites and tempting cocktails and wines to choose from, you can be assured to have a fantastic night celebrating the advent of the weekend with some excellent company and brilliant hospitality by the staff.
Words by Fatema Sitabkhan
WHERE: 12 Franklin St, Adelaide