Armorica Grande Brasserie
A self-confessed Francophile, Becher named the restaurant after the ancient region of north-west France that encompassed modern-day Brittany and Paris, and took inspiration from his visits to old-world establishments La Coupole and Septime.
The result is understandably elegant: a capacious 150-seat dining room with red-leather banquettes, brass gantries, timber ceilings and solid-oak joinery. As in all of Becher’s restaurants, art plays a big role here. He's commissioned five artworks by American illustrator David Plunkert, and Eagle-eyed New Yorker readers will recognise his style from his famed cover responding to far-right violence in Charlottesville in 2017.
Executive chef José Saulog’s sizeable menu starts with cold dishes: foie gras; octopus roulade (a mandatory order); and an opulent seafood tower piled high with oysters, a prawn cocktail, coral trout carpaccio and South Australian rock lobster. Pastas are made in-house – the spaghetti with scampi, Moreton Bay bug meat and zucchini trifolati is a standout.
Larger dishes are all cooked over ironbark on a custom-made, five-metre-long Josper grill brought in from Spain. Australian seafood is a focus, and diners can expect locally-caught Murray cod, John Dory, coral trout and more. Plus, five different steak frites options including Jack’s Creek grain-fed Black Angus sirloin, grain-finished Black Angus (marble score 3+) and David Blackmore full-blood Wagyu Scotch fillet (marble score 9+), all served with a choice of bone-marrow butter, béarnaise or mushroom sauce.
Executive pastry chef Travin De Hoedt has created five desserts: crème caramel; clafoutis; a tarte du jour; and a chocolate bar made from Valrhona chocolate mousse, salted caramel and choc-chip cookie, and sealed with Armorica branding.
While the menu leans luxe – an Armorica-branded caviar is made and sold in-house – the prices are lower than at both Franca and Parlar.
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