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Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Australian, International
Gift Cards Available, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Waterfront
Reviews (561)
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All reviews scallops seafood duck potatoes fries balmoral beach eye fillet special occasion great location by the glass sydney mains venue
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Reviewed 26 October 2021 via mobile

Told at booking we would be at a table by the water or worst, 1 back. On arrival, shown to the back corner table and politely mentioned we were told we would be by the water or one back. The old fella said “you’ll be...more comfy back here”. Mentioned in the booking it was our anniversary and no congratulations mentioned. Food was rushed out, calamari undercooked and pasta had a major dose of salt. Then when we paid, someone walked up and right in front of us asked to the other waiter, ‘you get a tip’. Holy cow. As we walked out, still 5 tables on the water with no people whatsoever. No joke, 5! And it was so hard to move us to one of them. We didn’t complain at the time as it would have ruined the night completely but hopefully people read this as it’s fact. Tried to book Bathers which is amazing on all levels but closed Tuesday’s. Bummer.More

Date of visit: October 2021
PublicDiningRoom, General Manager at Public Dining Room, responded to this reviewResponded 8 November 2021

Hi Julian, We are so sorry that your experience was not what you had hoped for. Our restaurant was fully booked on the night you attended and all window seats were reserved by guests who had booked before your booking date of 22nd of October...More

Reviewed 25 April 2021 via mobile

Great location, great ambience, spot on service and fab food. It would be lovely as a regular treat night but its quite expensive when you take into account the wine. We had oysters, super fresh, and the baby squid which was sensational. Eye fillet was...done to medium rare as requested. Seafood pasta looks a bit messy but tasted lovely. Desserts of crepe brûlée and chocolate mousse were surprisingly light.More

Date of visit: April 2021
PublicDiningRoom, General Manager at Public Dining Room, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2021

Hi there, Thanks for joining us at Public Dining Room! We are so pleased that we were able to deliver on food, service and atmosphere and look forward to seeing you back again another time - perhaps on our BYO Wednesday!

Reviewed 9 February 2021 via mobile

Our restaurant of choice for our 55th wedding anniversary. Over the years we have had the good fortune to eat at some of the world's really good restaurants. We generally skip the ones where the staff patronise the customers paying their wages and seek those...seeking to provide a lovely meal, great ambience and welcoming staff. There are a number in Sydney and The Public Dining Room is one of that number. Carefully curated ingredients, imaginative recipes, one of the world's best locations, cooks who take care of the materials with which they work, attentive but unpretentious waiters make us grateful to be able to choose this for some of our special occasions.More

Date of visit: February 2021
PublicDiningRoom, General Manager at Public Dining Room, responded to this reviewResponded 15 February 2021

Wow!! Congratulations on your important milestone in your retlationship and so thrilled that you chose Public Dining Room to celebrate! Thank you for your thoughtful review - we really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and are so glad that we were...More

Reviewed 15 January 2021

Sitting on Balmoral Beach on a sunny day is a wonderful experience. Having lunch in the Public Dining Room on that same day is even better. We enjoyed a great lunch - the food was its usual high standard. We chose wines by the glass...to match each course and they were excellent. The service was friendly and efficient. Overall an excellent meal - we will return.More

Date of visit: January 2021
PublicDiningRoom, Marketing at Public Dining Room, responded to this reviewResponded 6 February 2021

Hi Geddes_7, Thank you for taking the time to write this review, every bit of feedback like this does so much to help us out. And we are so glad your enjoyed our wines to match! We can't wait to see you for lunch again...More

Reviewed 5 January 2021

Dear Restaurant team, Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of one of our sons in your restaurant. As we were departing I commented to the gentleman who appeared to be in charge of the dining room that we had been delighted at the service in the...restaurant. I then proceeded to advise him that we were not happy with the food. I did not get the opportunity to tell him that the duck breast was unacceptably tough. I had previously commented to one of the waitresses that the oysters were not fresh and so, as we were near the end of the meal, I did not want to make an issue of the duck, so I did not comment to a waitress. I must say that I was quite surprised that there had been no apology for the lack of freshness of the oysters while we were at the table! I would have thought that in a good restaurant a complaint of that nature would be addressed immediately. But it wasn’t! So I mentioned the lack of freshness of the oysters to the gentleman as we were leaving. To my amazement, instead of an apology I received an absolute denial that the oysters could not be fresh, and when I advised the man that the test is to squeeze some lemon on the oyster to see if it moves your employee became quite argumentative saying that he had never heard of such a test and that the oysters were fresh. Instead of apologising he then went off to speak with someone in the kitchen. I was staggered and greatly offended and therefore left the restaurant! So firstly you have an issue with how your staff deal with a customer complaint and secondly you have an issue with the fact that the oysters on my plate were dead! My wife and I are very experienced travellers, having enjoyed dining at many Michelin 3 star restaurants in France and many other top restaurants around the world. As a result, we know fresh oysters when we are served them! As part of these experiences, for many years, I have always checked the freshness of an oyster by squeezing a lemon onto it. It seems to me that you need advice on how to check if an oyster is alive before you serve it. If you don’t accept the advice of globally experienced restaurant patrons then please accept the advice of others on the freshness of oysters all obtainable from web sources. A fish restaurant equates freshness with an oyster being alive – and they demonstrate a test using a fork! There are other videos on the web expressing the same sentiment, that a fresh oyster should be alive. I have also had the same response from a fish monger from whom we purchased some beautifully fresh oysters on New Year’s Eve. Conclusion: Fresh oysters should be alive! The 6 oysters which I was served yesterday were not alive they were dead! Yours sincerelyMore

Date of visit: January 2021
Reviewed 4 January 2021

Really nice brunch with family - good food and good service. However, the surcharge of >$50 for "Service Charge" and "Sunday surcharge" left a sour taste. Planned to give the staff a good tip as they were very helpful but was turned off when I...got the bill.More

Date of visit: January 2021
Reviewed 27 December 2020

My husband and I visited on a Wednesday for lunch. We got engaged at the restaurant many years ago and it was a trip down memory lane to return. The restaurant has a lovely location and our table had a great view. We started with...scallops and confit octopus which were both absolutely delicious. Mains weren’t as good but were ok. The mussel pot and the seafood spaghettini were lacking something. Desserts were lovely. The chocolate soufflé and affogatto were a lovely end to the meal. We also received a plate with tiny tarts and Happy Anniversary written on it. Service was competent If you visit on a Wednesday you can bring your own wineMore

Date of visit: November 2020
Reviewed 14 October 2020

I just find this golden located eatery a little sterile. I think it's the size of the room. While its windows adorn one of the most beautiful harbour beach vistas in Sydney, the room is more like a venue than a restaurant. But it's reliable,...if not a little too busy. In, out, in, out. They're packing them into as many sessions as they can during Covid. And why shouldn't they I suppose. I'd rate this over Bathers though. Less fussy and better staff. Ask for Harry.More

Date of visit: September 2020
PublicDiningRoom, General Manager at Public Dining Room, responded to this reviewResponded 27 October 2020

Glad to hear we didn't disappoint - "disappointed_horsey" !! Our restaurant may not feel as cosy as usual as a result of us having to remove half of the tables - covid restrictions!! On a brighter note, we are glad that you find us reliable...More

Reviewed 26 September 2020

Lunch for four. Celebration of a special occasion. Restaurant meet and greet: Prompt and friendly. Hygiene protocols good. Table location very good. Windows spotless for a fine view. Good ambience overall. Linen table napkins but no table cloth. Orders taken in an acceptable period of...time. Extensive wine list and knowledge sufficient when asked. Wine. “Man of War” Valhalla Chardonnay. $108 . Rich full bodied with good oak was considered excellent. Origin Waiheke Is, NZ. (Cellar door price $44). Main courses. Slow braised beef cheek, saffron soft polenta, spiced carrots, lemon gremolata $39 Pan fried truffle chicken breast, lentils, radicchio, Jerusalem artichoke & porcini purée $39 Slow cooked lamb shoulder, dutch carrots, dutch cream potatoes puree, mint salsa verde, jus $86 for two Plates for this last just warm (about 40 C) so not sufficient as we then waited the serving dishes for lamb and vegetables. These dishes only warm on delivery so all was not really warm enough on now cool plates for a leisured lunch. The flavour and tenderness of the lamb shoulder was very good. Mint salsa and jus complemented these well. Carrots overcooked until soft. Serves for all were generous. Dessert: Chocolate soufflé, strawberry chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream for all four diners. This was light warm foamy liquid texture with a thin top crust. Delicate or insipid taste depending on your perspective. Sauce was in an individual jug. Souffle is one of those dishes that sorts the skilled from the wannabe’s. This failed. Also it was served in ramekins that were so small they gave the impression of being mean. Service was sufficient. A good waiter solicits feedback early after serving. Then matters can be corrected without fuss or awkwardness. Overall it did not deserve more than a token tip. Key points. Hot food should be hot when served and so should the plates. Souffle is a special dish that requires the right skill as well as recipe, ingredients, timing and temperatures. When right it is a delight and a credit to the chef. When not, as was the case here, it is a disappointing conclusion to a meal. These matters are not the sort that should be quality controlled by the diner or customer. They can and should be quality controlled by the restaurant, simply and easily by paying attention to what if being served and how it is being served. Price $ 402 not including tip. Value to money. No.More

Date of visit: September 2020
PublicDiningRoom, General Manager at Public Dining Room, responded to this reviewResponded 6 October 2020

Hello, Thanks "again" for your very comprehensive review of your dining experience. As mentioned previously, we appreciate your feedback and will take on board your advice!

Reviewed 23 September 2020

Professional staff. I booked a table of 2 to celebrate my birthday and emailed in advance to ask if they could swap Goat Cheese on the risotto to any other cheese. Responded within half a day and they were very lovely and accommodating. When we...arrived, I didn't expect the wait staff would remember me or my enquiry but they did, and double checked my request and allergy to be sure. The entire dining experience was nice and enjoyable. The food was amazing too. Had a very lovely birthday experience there. Would visit again and recommend friends too.More

Date of visit: June 2020
PublicDiningRoom, General Manager at Public Dining Room, responded to this reviewResponded 6 October 2020

Hello Mavis, Thanks so much for your review. We aim to provide a high level of service and are so pleased you appreciated our staff going the extra mile for you! We look forward to seeing you and your friends at Public Dining Room sometime...More

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Questions & Answers
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4 May 2016|
Response from PublicDiningRoom | Property representative |
Hi dear guest, BYO is only allowed on every Wednesday. Hope to see you there soon. Luke, Restaurant Manager,
14 April 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Dinkumguy | Reviewed this property |
Weekends are $9 per hour and often hard to find. Weekdays - read the signs. Some are two hours but others are free at certain times if the year. The signs are designed to be changed in a minute, so be aware.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Public Dining Room

Public Dining Room is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 3.5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5