It has nearly been a year between reviews – wow! FRANCA BRASSERIE was so beautiful and just sublime I knew I had to try and write again. A lot has happened in the last year. Pre-covid my own business was kicking ahead strongly and I was overwhelmed by everything – I was torn a million ways and couldn’t get anything done – something had to give, and it did. My health gave out in Japan on a media familiarisation of ski resorts. I had a stroke on a mountain, on the other side of the world and just made it back into Australia before we were shut off from the rest of the world.
I am mostly recovered now and sadly the two things most important to me were affected, my speech and cognitive ability. Thankfully they are both still recovering – but I am no longer super witty and I don’t get as many jokes as I used to. I never thought I would write again but being a social media manager this was hard to avoid – and so it began with captions on insta posts, they started at one sentence and now are nearly back to what they used to be!!
My experience at FRANCA BRASSERIE was just too wonderful – it was the first time I knew I had to write a review. My passion was re-lit – the hunger was back and I have to thank good friend Rita from LickYourPhone for taking me here for my birthday with Alex, her partner.
Just look at the pics – the venue is simply stunning. Housed in the old Fratelli Fresh venue in Macleay Street’s Ikon Building the venue boasts a impressive design by Josh Clapp from Steel + Stitch that impresses with marble, cabinetry, brass rails, glowing lights, half-moon leather booths, velvet chairs, beautiful columns and bright, modern art; prints reworked from original art bought by owner, Andrew Becher on overseas trips. There is a private dining room and everything just feels wealthy. It’s where I belong haha
The venue cost $2.5MIL to set up and from what I’ve read he’s signed a 20yr lease!! Talk about commitment!!
FRANCA BRASSERIE’s service was nearly perfect accept for a waiter fighting for our attention (although we are pretty awesome and I would expect nothing less). We had two waiters serving us, a lovely gent and a younger female staff member. I wasn’t sure whether it was because she sat us down and assumed we were in her area but the guy just got us and we liked him serving us, he had a funny joke not about a lap dance he told us towards the end of the meal – I wish I remembered it.
Where as she would come up when he was talking and literally talk over the top of him, it was a way too much and well, I need to mention it as we spent a small fortune on lunch, well Rita did :). I don’t hold it against the place or the score – as besides this it was fantastic service and we asked the guy for half our meal suggestions.
“For centuries in the Mediterranean ‘Lingua Franca’ was adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages were different.
We take inspiration from the legend of our name and embrace diversity, inclusion and openness in everything we do today.
Franca welcomes people with open hands and open minds.”
FRANCA BRASSERIE takes its name from the term to describe a bridging language and as such their menu is one of French Mediterranean a bridging cuisine.
Executive Chef Jose Saulog (former Senior Sous-Chef) and Sous-Chef Zac Dunnings have mastered a menu that spans a variety of cities and regions in France and neighbouring Mediterranean coasts.
FRANCA BRASSERIE’s wine list showcases French, Australian and New Zealand wines, with an emphasis on small production wineries and sustainable producers in addition to a selection of rare aged wines. The menu is huge, I think there was over 200 wines!
WHAT WE ORDERED:
Crab Sandwich, Aïoli, Lime, Brioche
Lamb Tartare, Peas, Mint, Lavosh
Stracciatella, Beetroot & Rhubarb Tart
Pan Fried Gnocchi, Mushrooms, Goat’s Cheese, Sage with ADDED TRUFFLE
Sirloin, French Fries, Béarnaise or Poivre
Wagyu Bavette, Pancetta, Eschalots, Broad Beans, Jus
Maple Glazed Duck Breast, Beetroot, Lentils, Juniper
Chocolate Fondant, Burnt Marshmallow, Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream
White Chocolate Crème Brûlée, Strawberry & Lime Sorbet
Passionfruit Soufflé, Almond Craquelin, Pop Corn Ice Cream
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
I’m not going to lie – everything food wise at FRANCA BRASSERIE was perfect. There wasn’t a single dish that wasn’t perfect. Some I preferred over others due to personal taste but I joust loved it all.
Price wise this is fine dining – with drinks it will set you back a hundred or so per head – the most expensive main is a 1kg T-Bone at $112- but most average $40-.
The Crab Sandwich was yummy – I imagine a kid having this if he dined, it seemed a little more relaxed for a menu choice at FRANCA BRASSERIE, probably why they cease it for dinner service. The Lamb Tartare with Peas and Mint was wonderful and reminded me of a friend who passed away in May. We loved the best finest wines and if a tartare was on the menu we had to order it and pick it apart comparing it to all the tartares before it. James – you would have loved this.
Stracciatella is a stringy, sweet type of gourmet Italian cheese. Paired with Beetroot and Rhubarb in a tart was just delightful.
Pan Fried Gnocchi, Mushrooms, Goat’s Cheese, Sage with ADDED TRUFFLE was dish of the day for me. Pan fried Gnocchi is one of my favourite things and Truffles are my favourite things – certain noises escaped my lips during this epic dish that may make Rita and Alex uncertain of dining with me again and the added flavours of Goat Cheese pushed me over the bound for a long needed foodgasm.
Alex ordered the Sirloin with French Fries – in fact every savoury dish that Alex ordered came with French Fries – and I have to say this is the first time I have had chips that can officially be called French Fries – they were pretty damn fine – as was the Sirloin with the OMG wonderful Béarnaise sauce!
Rita had the Wagyu Bavette, we had to ask, a Bavette is the Flank Cut of Beef – it is taken from the lower chest. French Chefs refer to it as the Bavette. And I had the Duck – and oddest odd thing – I preferred the Wagyu Bavette and swapped with Rita – the Duck was marvellous but the Bavette was incredible. So tender and unique in the cut, I just had to eat it. The duck just did not sing to me like to Wagyu!!
I was starting to bitch about the waiters taking their time to get our dessert order when out they came singing “Happy Birthday” with the three desserts Rita secretly ordered. And they were all desserts I would have ordered. It is hard to pick a favourite – probably the Passionfruit Soufflé for it’s presentation alone – it was a weird flavour combo that seemed to work – I wouldn’t think pairing passionfruit with popcorn would be awesome – but it was!!
The Chocolate Fondant spoke to my flavour loves – it was basically a gourmet deconstructed cherry ripe and I loved it!!
And the White Chocolate Crème Brûlée spoke to my love of citrus!
Thank you to Rita for taking me here for my birthday and for introducing me to one of my favourite restaurants. Thank you to FRANCA BRASSERIE – firstly for being so awesome my love of writing reviews was re-birthed. I hope you fully stick to that 20yr lease because I have many more years of eating in me
FRANCA BRASSERIE DEETS:
PH: (02) 9167 2921
81 Macleay St. Potts Point NSW 2011
PRICING: High – Most expensive dish is $112 for the 1kg T-Bone
Friday – Sunday from 12pm
Tuesday – Saturday from 5:30pm
Sunday dinner open from August
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes – they even have a Vegan Menu
TAKEAWAY: Takeaway Menu
LOCAL DELIVERY: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: No
BYO: Fully Licensed Only
*** Spooning Australia Paid for their Meal ***
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