Public Dining Room is a top pick for water view dining on Sydney’s Lower North Shore. The restaurant sits in one of my favourite spots in the whole of Australia – on The Esplanade overlooking Balmoral beach. Here you can enjoy casual fine food just a few steps away from dedicated Balmoral swimmers.
The name Public Dining Room is linked to the historic nature of the site – which housed Public Baths as early as the 1890s. Today the space is minimalist, with a Scandinavian feel that showcases raw and natural materials. Most visit for a casual lazy long lunch or a special dinner. But the secret locals like to keep to themselves is that Public Dining Room offers a weekend breakfast menu, and you can even book in advance.
When I realised I knew the lunch/dinner menu too well (more here), I decided to try breakfast.
Since opening in 2009 Public Dining Room has continued to embrace local fresh produce – they proudly source from small local farmers across Australia. The quality of produce in the lunch and dinner menu is just as strong at breakfast. I’m talking ingredients such as Sonoma’s sourdough bread, Meredith Dairy sheep’s milk yoghurt, heirloom tomatoes and Yarra Valley Persian feta. Not only is the best produce used but the picture perfect presentation of dishes is just as good at breakfast too.
You could almost call it a casual fine dining breakfast but one without a matching price tag. I say that because you can enjoy a hearty breakfast dish with a coffee or juice and still have change from $25.
If you like your breakfast carbs then both the toasted muesli and oat crumble are good options. The muesli comes with cranberries, pistachio, cinnamon, Meredith Dairy sheep’s milk yoghurt. And the oat crumble includes vanilla roasted apple, orange poached rhubarb and earl grey custard. But if you’re like me and prefer a breakfast that can double as lunch then here’s a couple of dishes I’d recommend:
Because sardines are at the bottom of the aquatic food chain, feeding only on plankton, they don’t give you the risk of consuming heavy metals, such as mercury, and contaminants like some other fish. I love the simplicity of this dish – after covering the Sonoma bread with butter and then adding the sardines and salad I enjoyed every bite.
The avocado on this dish, as you can see, is spread generously across the bread. The feta on the other hand is a light serving – perhaps a little more feta would be nice given the $18 price tag.
And here are a couple of other breakfast menu items that will draw me back soon:
- Corn fritters, char-grilled free range bacon, house-made green tomato relish, cress salad ($21)
- Boston style baked beans, kurobuta ham hock, chimichurri, Italian parsley ($21)
- Free range baked eggs with morcilla sausage, kipfler potato, caramelised onions ($20)
And although Feasting Wisely keeps me away from naughtiness at breakfast if you’re happy to indulge then you’ll be pleased to see Churros & chocolate sauce and even buttermilk pancakes & vanilla cream on offer.
By Feast Wisely
- Book in advance, especially in summer or if you’d like a table for two alongside the window.
- The last seating for weekend breakfast is 10am – so don’t turn up at 11am hoping for brunch.
- Persuade your hungry husband or partner to take you to Public Dining Room by telling him about the full brekkie. It’s a man’s dream and includes pork chipolata, cevapcici, free range bacon, slow roasted tomato, spinach, portobello mushrooms & free range eggs.
- If you want to go for a weeknight dinner instead then BYO Wednesday gives you an excuse to take a special bottle of wine and keeps the bill affordable.
- 2A The Esplanade, Mosman NSW 2088
- 02 9968 4880 or book online at dimmi.com.au
- Bookings recommended
Other posts you might like (for breakfast by the water on Sydney’s Lower North Shore):