A much-lauded leader of the Tasmanian culinary scene, Franklin champions modern dining, all the way from its industrial fit-out to its simple yet innovative menu.
You’ll find Franklin in a 1920s Ford showroom. The heritage-listed space plays host to owner Ben Lindell and co-founder David Moyle’s vision of a unique eatery showcasing the very best of the riverside region. Building on their already extensive hospitality expertise across Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales, the immense success the pair has brought to Franklin will, without doubt, continue.
The kitchen is led by the newly arrived Analiese Gregory, whose experience cooking with Michel Bras and leading Darlinghurst’s Bar Brosé has more than aptly equipped her for keeping the Franklin legacy alive. She is also passionate about making cheese, bread and growing her own ingredients. You will find Analiese and her talented team at work right before your eyes. Sit up at the polished concrete bar and experience firsthand the sizzling spray of each steamed periwinkle, or the cider-infused scent of roasted pork lifted from the oven.
Simplicity is key to Franklin’s menu. Garnishes are minimal, while local produce is at the core of each meal. Dishes rotate daily based on what’s in season, what’s available from suppliers or what the kitchen can forage from the restaurant’s market garden and vineyard.
Tasmania’s seafood bounty is undoubtedly the star of the show. Raw kingfish is seasoned with salted daikon and leafy rapini before being plated with fresh horseradish and tresses of crunchy seaweed. Flathead is caught fresh and roasted whole, served with scallop roe butter and citrusy finishes from lemon leaves. Alternatively, treat yourself to one of the sea’s greatest treasures by ordering the Tasmanian abalone, which is first steamed, then roasted, before being drizzled with a sauce of abalone liver, black pepper and whisked egg whites.
The dessert menu is minimal, but provides a cleansing sweet note to finish up the dining experience – think coconut sugar ice cream set atop powdered bay leaves and embellished with lemon confit. The beverage list is not to be overlooked, either, with a curated selection of international and local wines taking its cue from the cuisine. Rotating beers are also available on tap and by bottle.
Franklin’s interior is a poster of modern design, featuring polished concrete from floor to ceiling. The long, stark lines are set off by bright copper finishes and native Tasmanian greenery that hangs from the skylights and drips from the walls. If this all sounds a little cool, don’t be alarmed – an enormous wood-fired Scotch oven hangs over the heart of the space, keeping you warm while the chefs are hard at work.
Franklin is the image of modern dining: the sum of a great space, service and considered cuisine. There’s no question why this contemporary eatery has established itself as one of Hobart’s best.