Sydney-siders flicking through back copies of Gourmet Traveller magazine will find Franklin restaurant has a legitimate place on the national agenda. This Girl is a fan of Franklin (and Gourmet Traveller). David Moyle has gone offshore to open the Asian-inspired Longsong in Melbourne. A change at the helm was a good prompt to return.
Sydney visitors may be familiar with work of former Bar Brose Chef, Analiese Gregory. Hobartians will find she fits right in at Franklin. She’s in her comfort zone with fresh, local produce, making the complex look simple. It’s comforting and comfortable to eat her food. It’s also a great match for Moyle – same, same but different. If you’ve eaten Moyle’s food at Franklin then you won’t feel like the restaurant has had a makeover as their approaches aren’t inconsistent. You will notice some movement though. Like waking up on a mild February morning and feeling the changing season.
Boozy Friday Lunch Friend and I took our seats and were advised to choose one small and two large plates or vice versa. This is what we ate:
- Heirloom tomatoes with peaches and apricot vinegar, $15
- Chicken liver parfait with pickled cherries, $16
- House made fettuccini carbonara with pork jowl, $20
- Tongola Zoe with Miellerie honeycomb, $16
- Mulberry clafoutis with crème fraiche, $14.
The fruit on the first small plate were extraordinary, vividly coloured and at their absolute prime, a perfect pairing, the elements enjoyed a subtle sweetness complemented with the light acid of the dressing and were lifted by the mint and a miniscule hint of dill.
BFLF and I have chosen the chicken liver parfait previously. It’s an old fav but this visit was in summer and we enjoyed it with the season’s fruits, pickled, and crisp shards of transparent wafer.
Carbonara is one of those decadent dishes This Girl always feels a little naughty ordering with all that pasta swimming around in cream, eggs and bacon. Nothing could be further from the description of Franklin’s carbonara, a very adult dish of super-fresh pasta holding a rich savoury egg sauce with cured pork jowl.
The Tongloa Zoe, a fresh lactic goat curd was a mild, soft cheese, creamy and with enough bite to make a delicious partner for the sweet honey. Labelled a dessert, it could easily be breakfast and may very well be yet at #Blissfarm. I went out and bought Zoe the next day and enjoyed it initially in baked eggs and that evening, as a re-creation of the dessert with our own honeycomb sliced off the frame.
The unpretentious and underrated, mulberry is a perfect fruit in a clafoutis, a rustic, provincial French dessert. Clafoutis is a simple recipe that can have its pitfalls. This version was a little on the eggy-side and I woofed it down anyway.
We drank something I wish wasn’t unremarkable. I’d deliberately chosen a bottle of wine that wouldn’t break the bank ie not $100, I’m sure it was (the only bottle on the menu at) thirty-something dollars. I didn’t realise until we had almost finished the bottle it wasn’t the one I thought I’d ordered. Next time I’m going to point and then check. $100 later. The wine list is low-intervention, European, and hard on the pocket. Crying.
The meals are designed to share. We found that we needed the dessert course to feel sated. It would have been a simple feat to have eaten another plate and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re having dinner there.
Franklin is a beautiful restaurant with smart service and stylish, sophisticated food. It should be on your to do list.
Find them at 30 Argyle Street, Hobart – the front door slides BTW.
For bookings, try their website – Franklin.