J’s parents live in Tuggeranong and told me about a new cafe at their local Chisholm shops that took over from an old bakery. Located right next to Coles, is newly opened The Public Place. Searching for whatever I could find on them, I saw very cute looking Pokeball cake pops on their Instagram page and knew I had to make a quick visit.
The fit out inside is very much street style with an exposed brick wall covered in graffiti and what looks like leftover posters torn off the walls, caged lights and a dimly lit atmosphere.
You would think it would give off a cold vibe but the eatery was packed with families and kids playing in a designated play area – toys included.
The all day brunch menu has items such as the breakfast burger, Man of Steel big brekky, the Foragers Feast (vegetarian version of a big brekky), the chooks bum nuts on toast (just eggs on toast) and various burgers. Free range eggs are used, sourdough bread is supplied by Danny’s Bakery in Narrabundah and all meats are supplied by the Chisholm Butcher. Gluten free, vegan and paleo options are available. Those that are gluten intolerant will be pleased to know that there is a separate gluten free fryer for all gluten free options. We started off with some drinks – I ordered the coconut rough hot chocolate ($4) and J ordered the chocolate nutsy smoothie ($8). The coconut rough hot chocolate was divine and tasted like a melted bounty bar. And then I found an actual melted bounty bar at the bottom of the mug. Ooooh yeah! J’s smoothie included avocado, banana, Nutella, peanut butter and almond milk. All he could taste were unripe bananas so he didn’t like it at all.
I decided to start with the strawberries and cream French toast ($19) of strawberry infused brioche with a vanilla bean cheese cake layer, served with strawberry textures and house made vanilla bean ice cream. The first thing I noticed was that the portion was rather small. I could see the red layers in the brioche from the strawberry infusion which was pretty schmick and tasted fantastic. I loved the house made ice cream which was so lusciously thick and creamy. The strawberries on the side must have been poached or similar as they were very soft and slightly warm. I really enjoyed this dessert, major sugar high, but found I was still hungry afterwards. I thought it was quite expensive for the location.
J ordered the Publics House Benny ($19) with poached eggs, toasted bagel, house made potato and 16hr slow cooked smoked ham hock crispy rosti with smokey charred corn puree, avocado smash and house chipotle hollandaise. We were looking forward to the slow cooked ham hock, but as it was cooked within the rosti, we really couldn’t taste it or the16hr slow cooked goodness. All the other elements were cooked well. The corn puree was a nice touch but perhaps charred fresh corn would have been better to add more crunch and bursts of flavour.
There were pies, sausage rolls and cakes at the counter but I was interested in the Pokeball cake pops. Unfortunately, they had sold out too quickly and they could only tell me that they would get more in shortly. I forgot to ask where they get them made. I was told that pikachu cake pops may be coming soon too!
The Public Place was very busy and I found I kept getting in people’s way as staff brought out dishes. It is a tad squishy particularly near the open kitchen. Orders are taken and paid for at the counter and a table number provided. It got a bit confusing as there were also table numbers on each graffiti spray can that sit on every table, but we were told they were not the table numbers. It was loud inside with noise from the open kitchen, other diners close by and from the kids playing, but I think it’s great that they cater to families. The eatery will do well as there is nothing else quite like it in the neighbourhood. A much needed and welcome injection into the Tuggeranong cafe scene.
The Public Place can be found at the Chisholm shops, right next to Coles supermarket. Open from 6.30am seven days a week for breakfast and lunch.
No scoring as it’s only been open about 2 weeks.
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