The very trendy village of Kensington just got that little bit smarter with the opening of Publik. – a neighbourhood bar and small-plates restaurant which champions seasonal and sustainable ingredients and aims to bring a sense of community.
Located a stone’s throw from Hyde Park this chic neighbourhood restaurant has a fabulous local vibe and welcome feel. A cosy interior is complemented by a quaint terrace ideal for people-watching as you sip on a glass or two of wine or a creative cocktail.
Behind the project are industry professionals Greg Almeida (Tay ē r + Elementary, Scarfes Bar, Pollen Street Social, and Oslo’s HIMKOK bar) and Charles Montanaro (NOLA and Duck and Waffle). We’d heard rave reviews from a friend who had visited and decided that we needed to investigate.
Publik’s focus is on people, produce and creating a positive impact. The restaurant is designed to be a modern take on the classic public house - a place to inspire community spirit and bring both locals and visitors to the area together. Their dishes are inspired by seasonality and they serve sustainable and quality-driven food and cocktails together with organic wines and locally sourced beers.
The sense of community is further endorsed by their philosophy of sharing plates – my favourite kind – thus I never end up with food-envy!
The adventurous menu is designed by Head Chef, Emilian Craciun (previously at Ham Yard Hotel), and works in harmony with the drinks menu. Inspired by the team’s travels and work in some of Europe's top restaurants and bars, alongside a desire to find ways to have a positive impact on their community, Publik. is committed to sourcing local, sustainable and organic ingredients from quality-led producers who put flavour at the heart of all that they do. Chef Emilian brings an innovative and dynamic approach to the menu, with a blend of creativity, passion for food and exceptional cooking skills.
Despite being in the midst of a pandemic – we we arrived to find a buzzy – yet spaced-out restaurant. We began with some creative cocktails which were followed by the sharing plates. Even though the menu is not that extensive and supported with a specials board it was difficult to decide what to order. We eventually opted for the following so we could taste the chef’s range of flavours and cooking techniques. To begin we ordered the spiced beetroot with horseradish buttermilk, goat cheese and crisps and also a superbly cured venison dish with perfectly pickled onions. Main courses were a succulent Sea Bream, rillettes, crème fraîche, pickled daikon and flat parsley and a tender Barbury Duck confit with sour cherry ketchup and Jerusalem artichokes. Dessert was tough to order as we were so full but duty calls! We tried the grilled Amarillo peach with Fiore di Latte, ginger and turmeric, London honey and an amaretti biscuit. Each dish was simply, yet beautifully presented and the combination of flavours and textures was a testament to the chef's culinary credentials.
Greg Almeida, Co-Owner of Publik., told us that: “In the midst of these difficult times, we wanted to launch Publik. as a sign of hope and optimism. Charles and I believe that, thanks to their social and cultural role in their neighbourhood, bars and restaurants have the power and responsibility to lead the way in improving people's lives in the community through hospitality. By giving people the tools to succeed, whilst using sustainable produce and constantly looking for ways of having a positive impact, we aim to create a space where our guests, team, suppliers and the wider community can become more connected to each other - which is more important than ever right now.”
Whether you’re looking to grab a quick bite to eat, a charming terrace for a drink or a spot of people watching, Publik. is our favourite new local hotspot.
1 Palace Gate, South Kensington, London W8