Now Open: Armorica Brings Seafood Towers, Steak Frites and an Expansive Wine List to Crown Street

The Franca and Parlar team has transformed the former Surry Hills home of Toko into a luxurious French brasserie.
Ben Hansen
April 19, 2023

Sydney has no shortage of French diners right now, with a wave of new Parisian-inspired restaurants and grand European brasseries arriving in the Harbour City including Manon, Whalebridge, The Charles, Bouillon L'Entrecote and Brasserie 1930, just to name a few. This wave of new competition has not seen restauranteur Andrew Becher shy away from his love for rich French cuisine, however, opening Armorica Grande Brasserie, his second venue in this style to accompany Potts Point's Franca which you'll find on our list of the 15 best restaurants in Sydney right now as well as his Catalan-inspired fine diner Parlar.

The 150-seat restaurant has set up shop in the former home of Toko, which moved to an expansive new omakase-focused outpost late in 2022. Under the guidance of Becher, the Japanese joint's old digs have been transformed into a lavish French-influenced dining space with timber detailed ceilings, European oak joinery, brass gantries and an open kitchen centred around a custom-built grill.

"Armorica is a Parisian brasserie that embraces the timeless charm of classic French dining. We want to bring the fun, energy and excitement of dining in the city of light right here on Crown Street," said Becher.

The grill will be put to full use here, with plenty of fire-heavy dishes that utilise top Australian produce to create classic northern French feeds. From steak frites and aged pork cutlet to grilled rock lobster and whole chicken served with desert lime, chicken skin and thyme gravy, you'll be left impressed, and full, from the grill menu.

These fiery dishes will be paired with Head Chef Jose Saulog's vibrant delights from the sea and land including highlights from a raw menu and a selection of pasta. Expect slow-roasted duck rigatoni, octopus roulade, coral trout crudo, foie gras torchon, and an outlandish seafood tower featuring oysters, prawn cocktails, octopus roulade and rock lobster.

All of this top-notch produce needs to be matched by an equally high-quality wine list, of course, and Armorica is coming to the table with a 400-strong vino list focused on traditional winemakers creating exceptionally drinkable drops.

Plus, there are also plenty of sweets on offer. Group Executive Chef Travin DeHoedt has created five signature desserts to round out your meal including the Armorica chocolate bar, made with Valrhona chocolate mousse, salted caramel and choc chip cookie.

Armorica is now open six nights a week for dinner and two days a week for lunch, housing the lavish eats and drinks in a luxurious bistro from Steel and Stitch accompanied by custom joinery from Contempo and Co. Rounding out the look is a series of original artworks that American illustrator David Plunkert has created in collaboration with Becher.

Armorica is now open at 490 Crown Steet, Surry Hills. It's open for dinner Friday–Sunday and lunch Tuesday–Sunday.

Published on April 19, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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