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Going Public

The inspiration behind the Public Kitchen and Bar menu is a range of New Zealand family favourite dishes, creating a strong following for the Kiwi fare served in its stunning location on Queenstown’s waterfront

Public is the brainchild of the  Wai Waterfront Hospitality group, and executive chef and customer relationships manager, Martin James, has put his personal stamp on the menu with many of his own much-loved childhood dishes.

“It’s about creating memories for customers and making them feel really comfortable in our surroundings,” says Martin. “When Steveour head chef, and I sat down to write the very first menu we thought hard about how to get that emotion on the plate.  Then it happened very quickly because there were just so many wonderful dishes we were excited to recreate in a modern and relevant way.”

“ It’s hard to beat the comforts of home cooked food your mother or grandmother used to make like Pavlova, roasted lamb or venison – they are delightful to eat and rich with familiarity. It’s these kinds of foods that our diners keep coming back for, to share with their friends and families.”

Open seven days a week from 11.00 am for all day dining, Public has an enviable spot on Steamer Wharf overlooking Lake Wakatipu and in view of the  vintage steamer, the TSS Earnslaw. The restaurant seats up to 120 people with indoor and outdoor tables offering a spectacular outlook over Queenstown Bay.

The atmosphere is smart casual with a stylish bar area generating a distinctive social vibe.

“Public caters to everyone and sharing is at the heart of what we do here.  It’s a restaurant that is very approachable – you can come in for a drink and a nibble then leave or have some cocktails with friends or bring the whole family,” says Martin.

“One of the most important aspects of the business for us is to have happy staff and as a hospitality group we work really hard to create a family atmosphere for them. If our staff are happy and proud of what they do, then our customers feel that energy. The whole ethos is friendly, approachable and welcoming.”