The winning dish is a soft and supple cushion of smoked confit ocean trout surrounded by a pretty pastel wreath of cucumber jelly cubes, ocean trout roe and baby radish leaves. The flavours and textures feel as natural and as gentle as a tickle of tide creeping in to kiss the sand – writes Terry Durack, Sydney Morning Herald

Balmoral Beach’s polite resident neatly distils everything that’s good about dining by the water in summer – writes Guy Griffin, The Sydney Magazine

I couldn’t pick a star, for every dish tingles with perfection – writes Elizabeth Meryment, Sunday Telegraph

The cassoulet of grilled chorizo, white beans, capsicums, tomatoes and calamari had a fantastic combination of flavours and the Rangers Valley grain-fed eye fillet was tender enough to be cut with a butter knife for my main – writes Lisa Muxworthy, Mosman Daily

Balmoral's Public Dining Room embodies the best of Sydney! Exceptional food, set on the shores of Balmoral Beach, with light and fresh interiors. It really is the ideal waterfront lunch spot. Fine dining in a modern yet relaxed setting creates a sense of relaxed sophistication. The location and ambience is the perfect setting and the service is always second to none. Wild kingfish carpaccio is so fresh and light and a must have. For a main, you can't go past the six-hour slow-braised pure Suffolk lamb shoulder. The mango and lychee bombe alaska not only looks picture perfect every time but tastes even better. Public is a quiet, sophisticated and energetic embodiment of Sydney's best bits: natural light and sparkling harbour by day and an upbeat buzz without losing its cool at night – writes Daisy Dumas, Sydney Morning Herald

There’s nowhere to hide at Public Dining Room. The restaurant, built on the old Watermark site, is a huge, open-plan space hugging Balmoral Beach with nothing but a window separating you from the dog walkers, beachgoers and fishermen occupying the waterfront. But this is part of its charm. Now that we’re on daylight saving time you can soak up the last of the sun as you take a post-prandial stroll down the pier where locals bob for squid and boats rock with the swell – writes Time Out Sydney

Balmoral Beach is pretty as a picture when the sun is shining in Sydney and what better way to enjoy the view than at the sleek Public Dining Room. It’s easy to see why the Public Dining Room is so popular, with the stunning views of Balmoral Beach providing the perfect backdrop for a lazy (but still classy) weekend brunch. The breakfast menu has quite a few classics on it, with a few trendier items (like the Shakshuka) thrown into the mix too – writes Excuse Me Waiter

Are you an early riser? Make the most of a Sunday by starting it with a breakfast with a view. Public Dining Room on Balmoral Beach serves breakfast from 8am-10:30am with the water just a few metres away! Service is very friendly and polite and they show us to our table with a gorgeous view of the beach. It's really the kid's wading pool but the sand is so close you can almost feel it between your toes – writes Not Quite Nigella

Fish and seafood dishes feature strongly on the menu and are paired with exciting flavours and seasonal ingredients. With a generous portion of king prawns, scampi, scallops and mussels served in a spicy broth, the fish stew looks and tastes amazing. The Huon Valley salmon, accompanied by native greens and blush turnips, is served in a tasty clam consommé. PSST! With its calming and relaxed setting and a variety of event spaces, Public Dining Room is a great option for your next group function. Its enviable beachfront position makes Public Dining Room a popular venue for weddings and special events or for a leisurely weekend breakfast – writes Gault & Millau

Most tourists to Sydney make it to at least one of the city’s iconic stretches of sand and sea. At Bondi and Manly Beach they swim between the flags and snap selfies with postcard views. But very few make it to my local beach – Balmoral – even tough it’s only a few kilometres from the city. Balmoral Beach doesn’t boast the surf of Manly, nor the glamour of Bondi, but its natural beauty and peacefulness make it my secret Sydney spot. Here I’m covering my top pick for feasting at Balmoral Beach – Public Dining Room. Public Dining Room sits on The Esplanade overlooking the beach. Here you can enjoy casual fine food, at breakfast, lunch and dinner, just a few steps from the sand. The restaurant’s name is linked to the history of the site – which housed Public Baths as early as the 1890s. Today the space is minimalist, with a Scandinavian feel that showcases raw and natural materials. From most of the tables you can gaze through the large floor to ceiling windows and admire the view across to Middle Head and Manly. The chefs embrace local fresh produce with many ingredients sourced from small farmers across Australia. I always find it hard to look beyond the slow cooked lamb shoulder – it’s been a permanent dish on the menu for at least a few years and is perfect for just digging in and sharing. A big contrast to many of the more delicate main choices on offer.

The lamb has been lovingly slow cooked to perfection with meat that falls away from the bone. And on top of the slightly crispy skin you’ll see clever mint pearls. The lamb is served with equally delicious side dishes of heirloom baby carrots, salsa verde and potato puree. And not forgetting the lamb jus…..It’s one of those dishes you find yourself thinking about the next day – wishing you could enjoy it all over again.

And if you’re not a big fan of red meat note that the overall menu leans more to fish, with dishes like kingfish carpaccio, citrus cured ocean trout and spiced fish stew. And not forgetting the hearty beer battered fish with hand cut chips.

With my visit falling on a Winter Sunday afternoon I couldn’t resist a side of seasonal brussel sprouts. They come lovely and crispy with a walnut vinaigrette and lashings of pecorino. I’d happily eat this bowl of cheesy green goodness as a lunch in itself.

Another delicious side dish is the Darling Mills salad with radishes, lemon mustard vinaigrette. Darling Mills is one of those small local growers that Public Dining Room supports – with their salad leaves grown and hand-picked only an hour or so from the restaurant itself.

Public Dining Room is one of my local gems. You can visit for a casual lazy long lunch or a special dinner. Dress down or dress up. Bring the children or go for date night. And you can even end your feast with a barefoot walk along the beach – writes Feast Wisely

If you’ve made it to Balmoral Baths, then you’ve pretty much got the location sorted. Tick one for Public Dining Room.

After an extensive 2009 makeover by designers Hecker, Phelan & Guthrie, this venue has taken over where the Watermark left off, but with a decidedly more relaxed air, refitted with a Scandinavian-meets-beachside aesthetic that keeps design smooth, clean and simple. Huge dome lights punctuate the open space, floor-to-ceiling windows open right up in balmy weather, and there’s uninterrupted flow from the airy indoor space to the protected deck area (heated for cool times). Light timber floors echo driftwood and are complimented by blond wood tables and white Eames chairs, with an elegant white marble bar for the cocktail hour.

Apron-adorned waiters flit here and there, refilling water glasses discreetly and providing knowledgeable service with a smile. The focus here is on casual fine food – supporting Australian ingredients, suppliers and sustainable seafood wherever possible. Breakfasts of smashed avocado on Sonoma toast with Yarra Valley fetta vie with seasonal Portobello mushrooms covered with grana padano. Lunch and dinner options run from oyster selections, to vodka-cured trout or Thirlmere duck (confit and smoked).

And the picture perfect view (out over the baths, which date to 1898) is just part of the winning combination – no matter the weather – writes Broadsheet

Nestled on the beautiful waterfront at Balmoral Beach, Public Dining Room offers one of Sydney’s most unique dining experiences. Fusing Scandinavian design with raw materials that reflect its beachside location, the bright and airy space is the perfect spot to enjoy lunch, before a dip in the ocean. The contemporary menu is centred on local produce and changes with the seasons – writes Urbanlist

In the late 19th century, it cost one penny to pass through the turnstile to visit the Public Baths at Balmoral. It was around then that Sydney’s glamorous beach culture was born, ushering in the drinking and dining scene that continues to this day. More than a hundred years later, this same turnstile welcomes visitors through its doors in this iconic building, renowned for its social, cultural and heritage significance.

Public Dining Room is positioned right on Balmoral Beach, with stunning views across to Middle Head and Manly. Owners and siblings, Monique and Mark McLoughlin, extensively renovated the space in 2009, calling on architects Hecker Guthrie to create a modern Scandinavian-inspired fit-out. The restaurant features raw and natural materials of American oak, marble, Belgian linen and blackened steel to complement the Italian lighting and iconic Charles Eames chairs – a far cry from its bathing past.

Monique and Mark are no strangers to hospitality – they were responsible for Castle Hill favourites Cafe Tropez and Trellini’s Bar and Restaurant. Public Dining Room is their third venture together; the focus is on casual, fine food using Australian produce from small farmers. They pride themselves on seeking out hard-to-find ingredients, sustainable seafood and heirloom varieties of vegetables.

Get started with crispy pork belly, served with jowl croquette, red cabbage puree, caramelised apple and puffed skin, or the indulgent twice-baked gruyere soufflé with hazelnuts, onion cream, bitter leaves and calvados apples.

Mains showcase the best of Australian produce with Tasmanian pasture-fed eye fillet, served with king brown mushrooms, caramelised onion puree and cavolo nero; and Huon Valley Tasmanian salmon with cucumber ketchup, pickled onion and ginger beurre blanc.

The dessert list is lengthy, and one you won’t want to miss out on. The peanut parfait is topped with salted caramel, chocolate mousse and rice bubble crispies; while the passionfruit crème brulee is served with seasonal fruit, coconut gel and yoghurt sorbet.

Public Dining Room isn’t only about lunch and dinner: you can also join the locals for breakfast on Balmoral Beach. For a decadent start, order the brioche French toast, with rhubarb, mascarpone and maple caramel. Savoury options include house-smoked ocean trout with poached eggs, shaved fennel, mint, tahini yoghurt and soy and linseed sourdough, or the full breakfast – pork chipolata, free-range bacon, slow-roasted tomato, spinach, Portobello mushroom, Boston-style baked beans and free-range eggs.

Your experience at Public Dining Room is framed by the floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto sweeping bay views. Although the view is the same as it was for the bathers of the 19th century, Public Dining Room bridges the site’s historic past with Balmoral’s future – writes Smudge Eats