Gossamer curtains hang from those huge windows of Franklin’s frontage. The huge space inside is all cement and wood, neutral walls and cow hides. It’s sexy and smart and very new Hobart.
Chef David Moyle is too clever by half. He and his team are comfortable in their open kitchen with its mammoth of a scotch oven, under our gaze. It’s not so much a performance and an audience. The kitchen workings are well-engineered and diners watch to prepare ourselves for our role as custodian of the creation process.
Franklin was the recent restaurant of choice for lunch with Boozy Friday Lunch Friend. We shared the four plates we ordered.
- Chicken liver parfait with pickles and rye, $16
- Crumbed fish brioche bun with onion, parsley and aioli, $20
- Duck leg with wood sorrel, green olive and bitter leaves, $26
- Grilled kingfish with iceberg and wakame, $28
We drank a Yarra Valley Chardonnay, $76.
Franklin is high end. The service is succinct and professional. Smart like the restaurant and minimalist. The food is both simple and complex. We ate the equivalent of a main and entrée for $45 each, there is no need to be shy of the menu.
The chicken liver parfait spread like creamy butter on its rye bread and was balanced by the accompanying sweet acidic, pickled carrots.
This Girl is a self-confessed lettuce snob. It’s Cos or bust, because it is a robust lettuce, can hold a dressing, maintains its crispness and survives heating. For the second time in my life I ate an Iceberg that was noteworthy. This lettuce is dressed in sesame oil and dusted in wood-fired roasted wakame, intensifying the sea flavour and enlivening the sweet flesh of the thickly cut fish.
Like a good goal defence, Boozy saved the olives flicked off my portion of the confit duck. It was melt in the mouth with crispy caramelised skin and again well suited to its bitter radicchio and sorrel leaves.
Thinking we knew everything, we decided they’d left the fish burger off our order. For Boozy it was confirmation that an order should rely on something tangible, like paper and pen, and not an unreliable memory. I would have been happy with three plates. Then it arrived. Why would we doubt Moyle’s kitchen? They were hardly going to serve two fish dishes together and the richness of the brioche and aioli and the bitter parsley, would have overwhelmed the earlier plates. It was perfectly positioned as the finale, another well balanced dish and a fun way to end the meal.
You couldn’t really confuse Moyle for a sweet tooth and he doesn’t appear to have hired a pastry chef. This Girl stands by my earlier advice, go elsewhere for dessert. The two options on offer: ice cream and cheese, were easily passed over in preference of a coffee.
I hope Franklin is with us for a long time. The food is as stylish and beautiful as the interior design. It’s a gorgeous restaurant.
See our first impressions in this post – Franklin.
It’s best to book and you can book on line here.
The restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday, 8.30 am until late.
Franklin is located in the former printing room of The Mercury newspaper, 30 Argyle Street, Hobart.