For lovers of dumplings, noodles and live music head to Franky's in Carrington
If you are yet to discover Franky’s Dumpling & Noodles in Carrington, or Carrodise, you're missing out on a whole lotta nourishing noodles, life-changing dumplings and awesome live local music.
The tight menu makes for easy browsing with highlights including Traditional Noodles, Dumplings of course, those moreish Shallot Pancakes, Chinese Greens (Jie Lam) and for those looking for a lunch special it’s the Mapo Taco all the way. You can take either the pork or vegie option with tofu and carrot, the radish and shallots on top lighten things up, whilst the Sichuan spice adds just the right amount of heat, all of which is wrapped up in one of those fab shallot pancakes.
Whilst the menu will no doubt have you coming back, it’s the warm welcome which really gets you with Franky's being less restaurant and more like you’ve just walked into your best mate's place.
Opening on September 7th, 2018 what Matt and Franky brought to the suburb was something not only completely unique in flavour and technique, but their larger-than-life personalities delivered the energy Carrington needed following what was some big boots to fill with Antojito’s heading on over to Steel Street.
Working together at the Newcastle Yacht Club it was here that the duo first had conversations around opening their own venue, joking that they could do a way better job whilst on their smoke breaks.
For those who visited in the early days you’ll have fond memories of Franky himself crafting the noodles in the kitchen window. The hand-pulled process was an art form and mesmerizing to watch, crowds would often gather at the front to watch Franky throw, twist, pull and cut his noodles with absolute precision.
Years of training were required to perfect the skills necessary to respect the long history that comes with the Lan Zhou Beef Noodles and ensure the tradition was maintained, something Franky took very seriously.
On August 22nd 2021, when the news of Franky’s passing was shared, a deep sadness fell over not only the tight knit community of Carrington but well beyond. Having to navigate his own grief as well as decisions around the business, I asked Matt if it was ever a consideration to close the restaurant,
“We were only trading takeaway at the time because of lockdown, and then we shut for a month."
“I didn’t know what to fucking do, I just got that heavy hand from his family that they wanted me to keep the restaurant open so I was like ok, the decision was made for me, and I am really glad about that. What was I going to do go and get a job.” [Matt laughs]
“I got a bit numb to it all, but 6 months on I am all open again now and find myself crying quite a lot, grief’s a funny thing it sneaks up on you. It’s like it’s a space that's behind you and beside you and follows you around so it can be pretty trying.”
“I am just really grateful for Franky and what we built here. We’ve got young musos in here that are cuttin’ their teeth and doing their thing, it's a place for people to hang out in, you know, you can spend $30 bucks and you’ve had a good feed and a couple of beers in your belly, and I like that.”
In addition to the eats, it’s the music that will also have you coming back to Franky’s with local musos setting up every Wednesday - Saturday in the backyard.
“Gabe who runs Novotone here in Carrington had a couple of friends who had to practice their jazz set and he asked if they could do a performance at Franky’s, I said no worries just try and get some people in. I ended up having to take all the furniture from inside to the outside area there were that many people.”
"Then I sat down with Gabe and said Thursdays are your night of the week, and then we decided we’d just do music and we’ve been doing it ever since. Gabe books all the music and does so for about eight other venues around Newcastle.”
The word about Franky’s live music evenings has well and truly spread, you either need to get in really early or best to book ahead as they’re usually isn’t a seat to spare. Be sure to bring along your beers or wine as it's BYO, and your cash, or drop into the bottlo right next door before settling in for a cracking night out.