Get Out and Go Public
For a very long time, I have wished that there was a great restaurant catering to my ‘plates to share’ taste in the Brisbane CBD. Higher end dining seems to be restricted to the Riverside Precinct, South Bank and closer to the Botanic Gardens end of town, and sometimes you just want to take public transport into the centre of the city and find fabulous near at hand. But now, hallelujah, there is such a place at Public, a wonderful dining experience in the centre of the city, opposite the Magistrate’s Court. Close to both the Roma Street Transit Centre and King George Square bus centre and car park, it’s a quick walk to the corner of George and Turbot Streets, where you can access the restaurant by escalators from the sidewalk to the first floor of 400 George Street.
It’s been open since 2012, and offers a contemporary menu of share plates. It was the winner of ”Best New Restaurant” and awarded “One Chefs Hat” in the Queensland Good Food Guide Awards 2012/2013, and has also won ‘Best Bar Food’ in the Australian Bar Awards 2013/2014. And, being located in the centre of the legal precinct, it’s popular with members of the Bar as well!
Two or three shared plates are adequate for two people, especially teamed with a cheese plate or dessert, in which case there are many excellent suggestions such as: scallops, sesame and wakame seaweed with ginger sponge (my personal favourite!); smoked pumpkin with macadamia and mustard; beef tartar, mustard and pickles; Kentucky Fried Duck; duck egg, truffle and toast and Texas brisket with soft tortillas and chilli sauce. For more people, naturally, you just order more plates! There are also ‘big plates’ of yummy saltbush lamb shoulder or free range pork belly with side dishes such as a variety of beans, ricotta and almonds.
It’s also great for cocktails so if you would rather eat than drink, there will surely be a drink for you at most civilised times of day amid the range of drafts found as: Whistle Wetters and Morning Glories, Tastebud Ticklers and Afternoon Delights, Vespers and Evensong, Nighthawks and Rockerfellers. You could make a ‘Public Nuisance’ of yourself by imbibing in a mixture of fresh strawberries combined with cucumber and elderflower, Beefeater gin and charged with sparkling wine – but if you’ve chosen to drive, you can take your pick of the non-alcoholic beverages in the Drivers and Thrivers section of Public’s wonderful drinks menu.
View: http://lovepublic.com.au; Visit: Level 1, 400 George St, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Call: +61 7 3210 2288; Open; Mon-Fri lunch-late evening, Sat late afternoon-late; Wallet: Above average.