Public Dining Room
The seagulls, sand and sunlight streaming through the doors, fig trees growing outside and the decked terrace makes Public Dining Room feel like the ultimate beach house (the one we all want to live in) and one of the restaurants in Sydney that you will want to come back to, time and again. If only Chef Nick Raitt could be our personal cook, too. The light, fresh Mediterranean menu that begins with oysters from a Batemen’s Bay oysterage – if you’re lucky the four-year-old oysters won’t have sold out, but the Clair de Lune are a good bet. They’ve been exposed to choppy sea conditions, apparently, and are akin to a wave crashing on your tongue. Raitt also loves his purées, which are scattered throughout the menu, in starters like the roasted scallop with pickled fungi (Jerusalem artichoke purée) and in mains like tender fillet steak on a bed of puy lentils, king brown mushroom and porcini butter (roast pumpkin purée). Be sure to let the attentive wait staff recommend a drop from the wine library.