Public & Co, South Fremantle
Public & Co is now (sadly) closed – hopefully it will reopen in the near future!
I am extremely wary of Scoopon deals, especially when it comes to dining out. I’ve heard from many others, first-hand or via reviews, of the bad experiences from cafes and restaurants who advertise through Scoopon. The difficulty with the system is that the restaurants/cafes are either a) not in a central location and hence don’t attract a big customer base, b) includes food selection from a limited menu, c) has sneaky terms and conditions in their fine print, or d) have limited dining time options. Luckily, my cousin had taken into great consideration all these factors when she purchased one from Public and Co. We were well overdue for a catch up, as we both had been wrapped up in the trials and tribulations of work, especially my cousin, who had just started up at a new job.
The Scoopon included brunch and coffee or juice for $29 for two, at Fremantle’s Public and Co. My cousin also had consulted Urbanspoon for its aggregate rating (a safe 83% from 267 reviews) and have a quick look through reviews (most of which were positive) before she purchased it. We made a date for a Sunday morning, arriving there at 10am. Both of us rarely go to Fremantle as we both live North of the River, however we were going to make a day trip of it and do some walking at the nearby dog beach and go rug shopping (my cousin was doing some DIY interior designing).
I was immediately smitten by Public & Co as we arrived. It was on the corner of a suburban street, looking like a converted, refurbished house. We walked down the pathway along the side of it, ducking under an alcove of tree branches and leaves which had been artfully moulded into an archway – it looked like the doorway to a secret garden. We emerged on the other side, unscathed and up the stone steps to the fire engine red front door.
Public & Co was separated into three sections – the dark, main foyer area which looked a bit like a classy bar lounge from the 1940’s; the undercover outdoor area which had a quaint garden appeal and the area which we sat in, the main café area. I loved the trendy lime stone sections and the high ceilings. Best of all, it was bright and sunny from the French styled windows. It was still quiet when we chose a table in the sunshine, with not many tables occupied for the morning breakfast.
My Scoopon fears dissipated when I consulted the menu – there were at least 8 breakfast items to choose from, as well as a number of other lunch style dishes, if you needed something more substantial. The food was more than your standard eggs and bread as well – bacon bruschetta and a salmon gravlax sounded fantastic, but I decided I needed some comfort food for the cold, winter’s morning.
My spicy baked beans with chorizo (usually $18) was spot on – some of the best spicy baked beans I’ve had for a while. It was a little smaller than other cafés, however I’m always for one who favours quality over quantity. The spicy baked beans were no canned version – it was a fabulous, hot combination of cannellini and red kidney beans, stewed perfectly and hadn’t collapsed into a mushy mess. The beans had been simmered with pieces of carrot, tomato, slices of chorizo and celery. I generally don’t like celery because I find it rather sharp on the palate, but it added a slight crunch to the earthy dish, and it had been cooked so that the majority of its flavours had melted away. They also hadn’t gone overboard with the chorizo, as it can often get overpowering – it was used to balance the heatedness of the dish. The egg was beautifully poached, with a translucent white and runny yolk – so very good. The last bit of perfection was the ciabatta bread, which had been lightly toasted and sprinkled with a splash of salt. Genius.
My cousin’s big breakfast (usually $26) included bacon, eggs, grilled tomato, mushrooms, gourmet pork sausage, avocado and toast. My cousin chose to have her eggs poached and just like mine, they were amazing. They hadn’t been scant on serving sizes just because it was a special deal as well – there was a mound of mushrooms, two large, meaty pork sausages, two halves of tomato and my prized beans on her dish. She loved it and found it exceptionally filling. Both dishes were pretty as a picture as well.
My orange juice looked like it was the manufactured juices, as opposed to the freshly squeezed variety. Despite this, it was still very nice and woke me up! My cousin and I really liked the candy cane striped straw that had been popped in the drink. The straw, made from paper, got a bit mushy after a while, but at least it was biodegradable.
My cousin’s latte looked heartening as well. Coffee as a kick-start is always great and my cousin relished in the well-textured milk, the perfect shot, and the decent amount of froth on top. Sugar had been placed on the side for her own admission. We sat for a while afterwards, catching up. The lovely, stylish ladies who served us were (like my cousin and I) equally rugged up for the chilly morning and asked if we wanted to more drinks to accompany our chitchat session. We passed, but it was nice that they gave us the option!
If I lived a little bit closer to Public & Co, this place would be my local favourite. It does clean, fresh and filling food. Their brunch menu on the weekend also extends from 8am till 4pm! I loved the ambience of Public & Co – it had a soothing atmosphere, evocative of a modern beach house with bikes parked out the front for those who had ridden in. They obviously take pride in their food and service, which was spot on. I was super impressed by everything, and for $14.50 each for drinks and food it was a giveaway. I would recommend it for anyone who is in the area; otherwise if you feel like a trip down South, this is a place to visit!
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Address: 25 Douro Rd, South Fremantle WA 6162
- Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (Wednesday to Saturday, from 8am to 11pm; Sunday from 8am to 4pm).
- An extensive list of drinks are on offer, including morning cocktails (ranging from $10-$18 per cocktail), ale, wine, smoothies and cold drip coffee.
- Take away coffees also on offer!
- Reservations available via phone (contact: 9336 4147) or through Dimmi.