Located in an old Ford showroom in Hobart’s historic Mercury Newspaper Building, Franklin opened with somewhat of a pop. Founding chef, David Moyle, proved a revelation with his locally sourced and deceptively simple cooking, relying heavily on the sheer quality of the produce and fire-fuelled cooking. Franklin changed Hobart like Garagistes did, and not unlike Mona did, too.
Today, Analiese Gregory, one of this country’s brightest cooking talents, stokes the centrepiece Scotch oven, with her acclaimed cooking only taking Franklin to greater heights. With a staggering resumé, Gregory has worked around the world, including stints at legendary restaurants, Bras, Mugaritz, Le Meurice, The Ledbury and back home at Peter Gilmore’s Quay, as his Sous Chef. Quite a list.
Like Moyle, Gregory’s focus is similarly produce based, with her work sourcing from local farmers, fishers and hunters key, while her own foraging adds yet another dimension to the menu. The mentality at Franklin is very much one of making from scratch, with everything from bread and smallgoods to cheese now made in-house.
The room’s starkness, with concrete making up walls, ceiling and bar, ranging from the polished to the textured, is softened with mid-century styled wooden furniture and the occasional bovine or marsupial pelt. Scrim curtains and soft lighting complete the picture.
Sommelier Forbes Appleby tends to the service and wine list, managing the room with characteristic calm. His selections are decidedly in the ‘natural’ camp, with selections from all around the world, covering the gamut of styles, including a house range sourced from the restaurant’s own vineyard down the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, overlooking Bruny Island.