Dinner Mon-Fri 5pm-midnight, Sat-Sun 4pm-midnight
Five years after opening its doors, this spirited bar-restaurant remains Australia's benchmark for Mexican food. Or should we say "Mexican" food? While opening chef Sam Ward made his name by championing a traditional approach, his successor Tommy Payne has put his own twist on the menu and he isn't afraid to use poetic license in the kitchen. The aguachile is a punchy combination of lightly cured kingfish, mezcal and watermelon sprinkled with coconut dust. Smoked chicken wings in a satay-esque peanut mole taste like the sort of thing you'd find in an Asian food court in Oaxaca, but chime perfectly with El Público's style, as does the mango and coconut trifle in a jar. Despite the change of chef, some things remain the same. The soundtrack rocks, tacos produced with house-made tortillas are as essential as ever, and chipper staff and a mighty drinks list (tequila, beer, cocktails!) are deeply conducive to good times. Bring a posse and party on.