Well, first things first. I wanted SO MUCH to not only like this place but to love it. The whole presentation is great, and reminiscent of it’s ‘parent’, The Public Inn.
We went there many months ago when it first opened and we thought it was a brilliant idea to open a mini-me version of Public Inn. A more casual, user friendly version, or so we erroneously thought! It’s worse! All the things I dislike about Public Inn are even more so at Café re-Public. The menu is SO fussy and pretentious! What’s wrong with having poached eggs and bacon on a breakfast menu? Sure, put your own take on it, but not if that take is some weird ‘baconaise’, which to this day I still do not understand exactly what that is. We went there three or four times in the spirit of good community mindedness and then we lost interest in them. But recently we noticed that they have a new winter menu so we thought we’d give them one last go for lunch. It all started out the same, we walk in to the lovely surrounds and are greeted by the friendly barista, all bodes well as we take our seats. We are given the lunch menu as well as their ‘all day menu’ and our order for soy lattes are taken. However, by the time the coffees arrive, (the smallest coffees I have ever met), the dream is over. Try hard, overly complicated menu with all the kinds of things that I do not want for brunch. I settled on a fairly straight forward omelet, which was so watery that my sour dough toast became soggy. I’m not sure how to make a watery omelet by they managed to do it. My daughter had the salmon gravalax bagel that came with a poached egg which was gelatinous and virtually raw. The waitress seemed irritated by us asking to have it replaced with one that wasn’t raw. She gave us some garbled explanation that none of us could follow, about why they can’t make poached eggs anymore. Which confused us because it’s on their menu, not some other menu that we made up. Anyway the offending egg was simply removed and we pressed on. To her credit when it came time to pay the waitress did offer a complimentary cookie to my daughter, who didn’t take her up on the offer, but charged full price. So just like The Public Inn we left feeling still hungry but with a sting in our pocket. And I feel confident to say we won’t concern ourselves with re-Public again.
Is it a Great Eat? No!
26 Templeton St, Castlemaine VIC 3450, Australia
(03) 5472 1582