If you’ve been sailing through Sydney winter quietly pining for a European summer escape—Franca could just be the hero you’ve been waiting for.
With foundations in classic French cooking, but a library of flavours and food stories from all the neighbouring beaches of the Mediterranean, Franca Brasserie covers a lot of ground, with a few new surprises thrown in.
It’s the personal project of Sydney restaurateur Andrew Becher (Pelicano) and Alex Cameron, with executive chef Alexis Besseau (Bathers Pavilion and Est.) and sous chef Jose Saulog (Tetsuya's) at the helm.
You’ll find Franca in the spot where Fratelli Fresh Potts Point left off, though the interior is vastly different. Designed by Sydney architect Dirk Anderson and interior designers at Steel and Stitch, you can expect a little Parisian charm that doesn’t detract from the building's original Art Deco roots. Cherry red velvet chairs are contrasted with bold green leather booths, lashings of marble, parquetry flooring and brass accents—it’s opulent, without being uninviting.
As for the food, Besseau is championing traditional brasserie dishes with a twist. Get started with basil eggplant tortellini finished with a ratatouille consommé, or a fresh spin on the classic Nicoise salad with yellow fin tuna and grated cured egg yolk infused with smoked paprika. Standout mains include a spanner crab tagliatelle and corn-fed chicken with walnut and butter lettuce.
You won’t want to skip dessert—head pastry chef Travin Dehoedt (Bennelong) has an interpretation of the classic “pomme tarte tatin”, with spiced pink lady apples, Madagascan vanilla bean ice cream and calvados glaze, made to share.
The story behind the menu is sustainable and produce-focused. "Our inspiration is drawn from classic French cooking techniques, using hyper-seasonal ingredients and working at the peak of the seasons," explains Besseau. "I’m proud to say our menu celebrates great farmers, growers and producers.”
For drinks, the 200-strong wine list features drops from France, Australia and New Zealand, with a special focus on boutique, sustainable producers. Signature cocktails pay homage to French classics and fresh seasonal ingredients. Our favourite is "The Artist", made with homemade red fruit sorbet, coconut-infused vodka, citrus and kaffir lime.
Image credit: Franca Brasserie.