A feast for the eyes

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - He­len van Berkel


The first thing you need to know about Franc’s is where it is not. And that is 77 Hurst­mere Rd in Taka­puna. Google will di­rect you to the North Shore vil­lage’s din­ing precinct, where Franc’s is not; in­stead of to the beach­front din­ing precinct, where it is. And that’s a good place to be. Taka­puna is fi­nally notic­ing the sea be­hind the traf­fic- clogged main street and is turn­ing its fo­cus to the views of ocean and is­lands. A num­ber of new din­ing es­tab­lish­ments have opened along the water­front and watch­ing the sail­boats and beach­walk­ers over brunch or a beer is one of the de­lights that Franc’s of­fers. Of course, there is still a road be­tween Franc’s and the sea but it is bet­ter than the view those on Hurst­mere Rd have.


We were cheered and thrilled to see Franc’s on­line menu went beyond the old favourites — al­though less cheered to see “hol­londaise” sauce on the brekki/ brekkie menu. But hey, they are cooks, not writ­ers and the ta­ble ver­sion was spelled cor­rectly. My com­pan­ion opted for Dorito- en­crusted chicken and waf­fles ($ 17.90) and I chose the McFranc ($ 15.90), a pork burger with egg, smoked cheese, brioche bun, pick­les and the afore­men­tioned sauce. It lacked sauce — ei­ther hol­londaise or hol­landaise — and the pick­les, which added a wel­come level of taste oth­er­wise lack­ing — were ab­sent from most of the burger. By the end, it was just bor­ing. The waf­fles had the slightly hard crust that comes from an over­beaten bat­ter but the chicken that came with them was a win­ner. We washed down our meals with a luke­warm cap­puc­cino ($ 4.20) — I had to ask for sugar — and a mochac­cino, $ 4.90.


Franc’s ply­wood walls and pol­ished con­crete floors seem to be go­ing for a ca­sual beachy feel with a touch of Mex­i­can. But, noted my 16- year- old com­pan­ion, as the back­ground mu­sic segued from easy lis­ten­ing jazz to gangsta lyrics about homies and the hood, Grandma wouldn’t like it here. All is ca­sual at Franc’s — the staff don’t seem to have an ac­tual uni­form and it was on oc­ca­sion dif­fi­cult to dif­fer­en­ti­ate a server from the ca­sual Sun­day morn­ing crowd. Our menu de­liv­erer dis­ap­peared never to be seen again so an­other took our or­ders, and a third brought us our cof­fees.

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