It’s a given that any decent pub needs to check the following boxes to attract a crowd over the summer months: comfortable beer garden, nice selection of local and imported bevvys and tasty pub grub. Thankfully we inner-west suburbanites are spoilt for choice when it comes to places that qualify, to which the ranks can welcome contender Public House Petersham as a fresher, vibrant version of predecessor Newington Inn Hotel.
Tucked away along an unassuming section of Stanmore Road, the newly updated venue is big, bold and beautiful. Its outdoor courtyard is welcoming, airy and boasts a magnificent wood-fired pizza oven, the smoke and smells emanating from which make sitting out in the sunshine akin to happily chilling out at a good mate’s backyard BBQ.
The cheeky vibe generated by the newly installed artwork and décor flows into a revamped menu which takes full advantage of said magnificent oven through all sorts of smoked, baked and roasted elements. Of course there’s also an assortment of not so pedestrian pizzas in play, including the Belafonte ($23) topped with devilled sardines, Calabrian chilli, garlic and leeks and Is it a Banger? ($23) topped with morcilla sausage, creamed corn, roast tomato and rocket.
Split into aptly named ‘Sharing is Caring’, ‘I’m NOT Sharing’ and ‘A Little Extra’ the best start to a meal here is one of the venue’s share cocktails, namely a refreshing pitcher of lemony vodka laced Istanbul Old Ice Tea ($32). The team have a nice selection of local craft brews on tap such as Young Henrys and The Grifter Brewing Co and local wines from Sparrow and Vine produced from Eden Valley organically farmed grapes.
Shifting with seasonal produce, the Smoked Parsnip Croquettes ($13) are a structural marvel, fat and round and crunchy, solid looking and yet completely yielding once they touch a fork. Stuffed with smoked parsnip mash, bright green peas, manchego and horseradish these are filling but miss expected bite and flavour promised by its ingredients.
For those seeking something light and fresh, hands down Public House’s Local Haloumi ($24) salad’s winning combination of salty grilled haloumi, peppery pink charred Hawkesbury squid, sliced watermelon, crisp lettuce and creamy aioli is perfect for combatting hot weather.
It’s not just the mains that shine here though, items off the ‘A Little Extra’ side dish list are as delicious as they sound, particularly Roasted Cauli ($8) a turmeric infused bundle of roasted cauliflower, sautéed savoy cabbage and almonds and Beets and Carrots ($8) a colourful mix of sweet roasted beets and carrots dolloped with rich smoked macadamia yoghurt.
The piece de resistance of share platters the Pigfest Platter ($37) fulfils its prophecy twofold. Firstly in selection of chosen animal done in a multitude of ways, and secondly in the gluttonous size of it. Mounds of vinegary red and white sauerkraut complement juicy house made smoked sausage, fatty pork belly topped with crackling, chunky dumplings and the most unexpected soft, gelatinous wood fired pork knuckle. Despite the protests of a rapidly filling belly, this dish is difficult to not want to scoop up every delicious marmitey bit of.
Despite the feasting there is to be had amongst the venue’s hearty pub fare, there are some gems which simply cannot be passed up when it comes to dessert. Cow and the Moon fans are in luck, as every week one of their signature gelato flavours (this week’s special Lime in Coconut) finds its way to Public House to make friends with crumbly honeycomb and scorched marshmallow in their Cow and the Moon Sundae ($12). This isn’t the only highlight though. Gingerbread lovers unite for Ginger Danger ($13), an utterly heavenly mess of thick fluffy home-made gingerbread, caramel mousse and lemon tinged mascarpone.
Filled with families, giggling kids, young couples and mates catching up over a few beers, Public House embodies an easy sense of charm and community spirit. The menu itself is mind-boggling in variety but delivers pleasantly on all fronts, and the relaxed ambience of the venue’s layout and furnishings makes it a regular go-to any day of the week.
Public House Petersham
Address: 292 Stanmore Rd Petersham NSW 2049
Contact: (02) 9568 3703
Hours: Monday to Friday: 11am – 12am, Saturday: 12pm- 12am, Sunday: 12pm – 10pm