Get ready for timeless charm and classic dining with a contemporary edge.
You’ve probably already heard of delicious European-inspired restaurants, Franca and Parlar, opened by renowned Andrew Becher. The restaurateur has now opened his third, Armorica Grande Brasserie, in Surry Hills. Drawing on classic Parisian Brasserie culture and contemporary cuisine, Armorica is named after the ancient Celtic region that would later span to become Paris, paying direct homage to the city of love and its surrounding regions.
A custom-built Josper grill sits at the heart of Armorica’s open kitchen, with a lot of the food centering around traditional wood-fire techniques. There is a nod to the rich cooking heritage of Northern France, whilst still incorporating Executive Chef Jose Saulog’s signature contemporary style.
On the menu you’ll find the best of Australian seafood and meat, with smaller plates made for sharing. Start with coral trout crudo with finger lime; as well as Foie Gras ‘Torchon’ (which involves wrapping the foie gras in a towel or cloth, poaching it, and letting it steep for a few days before serving). For larger plates, there is a large section of the menu dedicated to ‘Steak Frites’ alone, as well as the best grade of lamb Australia can offer – the Gundagai Lamb Barnsley Chop GLQ5+.
If you have a sweet tooth, rest assured Armorica has you all taken care of. Desserts are a specialty of the group’s executive pastry chef Travin DeHoedt, who focuses on letting the ingredients speak for themselves. Think decadent, rich dishes such as imported Valrhona chocolate, alongside native Australian produce in a modernised approach to classic French cooking.
As for wines, the restaurant is home to over 400 bins, with a focus on classic wine regions all over the world. Special attention is given to producers who still apply traditional methods and techniques, with each bottle being hand-picked for drinkability above all else. There will also be an extensive cocktail menu to complement the food – try ‘Nougattine’, a twist on the traditional Mai Tai with a unique French influence; and the ‘Citron Vesper’, a blend of 3 citrus fruits for a tangy aftertaste.
Armorica is a plush 150-seater featuring detailed timber ceilings, hand-crafted European oak and leather banquettes throughout. Prepare to be instantly transported to the opulent dining scene of Paris with deep red tones adorning the venue. A bonus, all furniture and joinery have been custom designed and hand-made right here in Sydney.
Armorica is located at 490 Crown St, Surry Hills and is open for lunch and dinner. Reservations can be made via their website here.