Parlar, a Potts Point Fine Diner From the Franca Team Celebrating Catalan Cuisine
“The Catalonian coastline is a very interesting region for cuisine,” Andrew Becher, owner and operator of Potts Point brasserie Franca, and its soon-to-open neighbour Parlar, tells Broadsheet of his new venture. “I’ve spent a lot of time travelling through Spain and the Catalan region, especially Barcelona. It’s such a fantastic area of the world, especially its dining culture.”
These travels have inspired Parlar, Becher’s new Catalan-accented eatery, which is set to open on Macleay Street in mid-March. The 55-seater will bring the buzz of Barcelona’s tapas bars to a fine dining setting – something Becher says will be unique to Sydney.
“I think Sydney hasn’t seen Catalan fine dining before. I think it’s a very unique business offering,” he says. “The menu’s going to be comprised of shared-format-style eating. There will be a tapas element at the top of the menu, all the way down to having much more substantial dishes. It’s going to be quite seafood heavy.”
Executive chef Jose Saulog – who also oversees the kitchen at Franca – has crafted a menu of dishes using premium Aussie seafood. On the lighter end of the menu expect dishes such as an anchovy churro, and kingfish with caviar, smoked tomato oil and orange. Then progress to heavier plates such as fideuà marinera (like paella but with pasta instead of rice), and a seafood platter with lobster and a calamari and fennel salad (Becher says this will be one of Parlar’s signature dishes). Crema Catalana, the Iberian peninsula’s answer to crème brûlée, will be on the dessert menu.
Spanish wines – particularly tempranillo – are the focus of the wine list, but expect drops from the Mediterranean coastlines of Spain, France and Italy, as well as Australian options. The seasonal cocktail list champions the fortified wines popular in Catalonia. The zesty A Twisted Sangria will feature grenache, cognac, house-made strawberry cordial, blackcurrant and ginger beer, while a Walnut Negroni is made with gin, gentian roots (a herb used to make bitters), amontillado (a dark sherry) and walnut.
Becher has worked closely with interiors firm Steel & Stitch on the room’s design, which will be fitted with European oak timbers and Rosso and Galio marble. Original pieces by ’70s American artist Alexander Calder will dot the room; Becher says those works will help influence the room’s design.
“I’m excited to … give Sydney another restaurant,” says Becher. “The more offerings we have, the better for getting Sydney back as a vibrant city.”
Parlar is slated to open in mid-March 2022 at 3/81 Macleay Street, Potts Point. Reservations are now open.