The great migration south to Hobart continues as chef Analiese Gregory, who until recently was making Bar Brose a Sydney dining magnet, has taken over the pans at Franklin.
Previously, Franklin was under the steerage of chef David Moyle, but commitments in Melbourne (he's opening Long Song, a Thai-influenced bar above Longrain, with Lisa and John Van Haandel later this year) meant the kitchen needed more full-time attention.
So what's new? Brose fans will be happy to see that a couple of signatures have come south. Notably the sweet-savoury dessert of potato crisp tuiles sandwiching salted caramel and a sweet brown butter mousse.
In many ways, Gregory's innovative, seasonal food is in tune with Moyle's, so the shift isn't too jarring. And you can still get the angasi oysters, more river fresh than straight briny, served warm and enhanced with a little thyme oil. But Gregory is also making the best of Australia's greatest food bowl in her own way. Sea urchin roe creams up a twirl of linguine. There are Aussie calamari dumplings, a delicate farce encrusted in saltbush leaves and fried. A raw lamb tartare with peppery flowering rapini shoots and a little horseradish is dressed with colatura – anchovy fish sauce. It's a bright and brilliant produce-driven time.
The biggest shift is probably for Gregory herself. Since her arrival at the start of August, she's had to adjust to Hobart ways. That means whole carcasses only for meat, and building one-on-one relationships with dozens of local farmers. She's started making cheese on Mondays which appears as burrata with roasted artichokes and as saltbush-and-fennel-crusted blocks of ricotta salata to DIY shave over sugarloaf cabbage.
Gregory says she's just getting started. Watch this space.
Franklin, 28-30 Argyle Street, Hobart, 03 6234 3375, franklinhobart.com.au
Open Tue-Sat 8.30am-11pm.