Townsville, Queensland, Australia
August 13, 2002
We arrived early so enjoyed a drink with some of the house guests at the bar. The manor is a gracious building and somehow the guests and staff seemed to be the same. This atmosphere was continued into the restaurant. Polished timber, fine art works, a grand fireplace, and elegant crockery, cutlery and glassware combined perfectly to set the scene for a great meal. Fortunately, chef Brad Fyle’s skills matched our expectations.
The menu was relatively simple and easy to follow. We started with an entrée called Tastes of Franklin Manor (A$22). This was a plate for two featuring oysters, octopus, wallaby, quail, venison, marinated olives, fetta cheese and home baked rolls. It was delicious. For mains, my wife chose a steamed ocean trout topped with spicy tomato and chilli served on Asian greens (A$28). I decided on the beef rump with red wine jus, mash potatoes, mustard and red onion jam (A$27.50).
One of the joys of Franklin Manor is to select a bottle of wine from the cellar. Somehow it doesn’t seem incongruous climbing down the stairs and choosing between a Chateau de Beaucasiel or a Grange in this wild remote spot. For those who are not wine experts (that’s me) the sommelier is happy to give a suggestion and there is a list of wines available by the glass.
When it was time for dessert, we decided we could only share one plate. We opted for vanilla pudding with caramelised pears and hot Galliano zabaglione (A$12.50). If only we could have returned the next day for breakfast!
From journal Tasmanian Highlights