Located at Balmoral Beach in Sydney, the Public Dining Room is quite an exclusive dining place that does not conjure up the image of a rowdy, beachside casual dining room as the name suggested. Instead it was a quiet place for couples, special family gatherings, and in my case, a place for some quiet business discussions.
The oysters were from the Tathra farm in Nelson Lagoon in NSW and were 12 times champion Sydney rock oysters for the Sydney Royal Summer Fine Food competition. “Situated in Mimosa Rocks National Park, the Tathra oyster farm is surrounded by verdant green forest resulting in a complex and clean flavour.” so wrote the menu. How can something be clean and complex at the same time? This oyster can! It had a clean, sea brine taste but the morsel was so creamy and complex, it was difficult to describe whether it was metallic or seafood after-taste. Not even after I had 6 of them, I could not decide if I could put down something that would even come close.
I have the Fresh house made tagliatelle, alaskan king crab, tomato concise, baby zucchini, chilli pasta dish. The homemade pasta was cooked al dente, which meant that it was still a bit chewy, and because it was homemade, you could still taste the gluten in the flour. The accompany sauce was light – olive oil, minced up tomato, little fresh chilli to accentuate the taste and added the bite to the sauce, and thin strips of zucchini.
My dinner companion shared some of her Pork belly, shaved fennel, caramelised pear, woodland sort, walnuts with me – only the pork belly, not the salad. Well, I am Chinese, and I still prefer my Cantonese Roast Pork Belly better.
The ambiance was fantastic. Roomy dinner hall, so you would not be able to eavesdrop into your neighbour’s conversation. Beautiful sunset, so remember to reserve a window side table. In the summer, the veranda is open so why not? (if you can stand the flies and occasional sand in the wind.)
Service was attentive but not assertive, giving you plenty of room and time to decide your gastronomic choices for the evening. The menu had everything for everyone, gluten-free options available. The wine list, well, was more of a wine catalog. In the end, we just went with what the sommelier recommended from the house pour.
Would go again if I had the chance.
Public Dining Room
2a the Esplanade
Balmoral Beach, Sydney
+61 2 9968 4880