Bris­bane CBD eatery, Pub­lic.

This city restau­rant de­liv­ers beau­ti­fully ex­e­cuted food, top-notch ser­vice and a fan­tas­tic drinks list. But a few rookie er­rors let down an other­wise ex­cel­lent night out

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Stellar - - Contents -


MEET what is ar­guably Queens­land’s most con­tro­ver­sial dish.

The seem­ingly in­no­cent and unas­sum­ing pieces of deep-fried duck are cur­rently the sub­ject of a le­gal bat­tle over who holds the copy­right for the dish known as KFD.

Bris­bane CBD eatery Pub­lic, which first started serv­ing the Ken­tuck­yfried duck back in 2012, claims that it holds the rights.

How­ever, the restau­rant’s for­mer chef, Da­mon Amos, who ini­tially cre­ated the dish, be­lieves that he owns the recipe. He has since opened his own restau­rant, De­tour, in Wool­loongabba.

The fight has cap­tured the in­ter­est of lawyers across the state, who are keen to use the law­suit as a case study to set a le­gal prece­dent over who has the copy­right to dishes – chefs or res­tau­rants.

How­ever, the ver­sion at Pub­lic, which has re­port­edly been tweaked in the two years since Amos left, makes it hard to see what all the fuss is about.

The duck leg meat is glo­ri­ously ten­der and as juicy as an or­ange straight off the tree, but the much­hyped crust is a lit­tle on the dry side, plead­ing for a slide in the aioli that wa­ter­falls over the ac­com­pa­ny­ing, lightly charred corn cobs. In fact, a lack of sauce is a com­mon thread through­out the menu.

A fil­let of bar­ra­mundi ticks all the boxes on ex­e­cu­tion, and pomelo pulp pro­vides an in­ter­est­ing twist on the com­mon cit­rus pair­ing. But a scat­ter­ing of cashew nuts and co­conut shards black­ened by a co­conut husk ash leaves the dish – and diner’s mouth – parched.

The is­sue is even more pro­nounced in a pork and quince dish. Though the meat is ex­pertly pre­pared and of ex­ceed­ing qual­ity, more of the but­ter­milk dress­ing is needed to off­set an ac­com­pa­ny­ing thirsty savoury gra­nola.

Per­fectly hy­drated and with stand-out ap­peal, though, is a salmon ce­viche that’s sprin­kled with crisp black ants for tex­tu­ral in­ter­est. It is served along­side dusty pink, deep-fried prawn crack­ers.

For dessert, de­con­structed lemon meringue pie seems to be the flavour of the month across Queens­land res­tau­rants at the mo­ment. The in­car­na­tion at Pub­lic proves that pulling dishes apart can some­times work in their favour. Gooey, torched meringue meets shat­ter­ing egg­white pieces, driz­zles of tart lemon curd, dol­lops of sharp, cit­rus granita and crumbs of streusel to cre­ate a dish that jux­ta­poses sweet and sour, soft and hard with fi­nesse.

A solid, well-com­posed drinks menu in­cludes a good range of wines by the glass, a large se­lec­tion of spir­its, and some in­ter­est­ing cock­tails and mock­tails.

With un­flap­pable ser­vice as well, the smartly ap­pointed Pub­lic is a ter­rific restau­rant. It just needs to get on the sauce.

400 Ge­orge St, Bris­bane. lovepub­

“This tart show­cases spring in­gre­di­ents. Use what­ever veg looks good”


2 sheets but­ter puff pas­try 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 tub (150g) roasted cap­sicum and pecorino dip (or other veg­etable dip) 6 baby zuc­chini, halved length­ways 3- 4 (120g) yel­low squash, thinly sliced with a man­do­line 1 bunch as­para­gus, thinly sliced length­ways with a man­do­line

From top: the pork and quince, Pub­lic’s bright din­ing room, and the bar­ra­mundi with pomelo pulp.

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