Firedoor is the hottest new place in Sydney, and not just because all of their food is cooked over hot wood charcoal or in the flaming furnace. Firedoor boasts 10 different woods that they use for their cooking, including ironbark, mallee root, pecan, pear, and grapevine. Different woods are matched to particular ingredients based on their unique properties. For example, grapevine burns a rich robust aroma well suited to red meat and game, while pear offers a gentle sweetness. It’s a great concept.
You’ll find Firedoor in Surry Hills. The chef that’s brought us this food is Lennox Hastie, formerly of Etxebarri in Spain, a restaurant that’s also known for its charcoal and flame cooking. The fit out features, I guess not surprisingly, a lot of wood. Wooden floors, wooden tables and chairs, and even logs stacked along the front window. You can see all of the action in the open kitchen and there’s a lot of natural light (great for taking food photos!).
It was a Friday lunch and a Pistachio Negroni to start with was an obvious choice, of course – Bulldog gin, campari and pistachio cinzano. Then, onto food. We started with the Swordfish belly, fennel and herb oil. The texture of fish belly never ceases to amaze me – stunning. I needed to enjoy this slowly, savouring every mouthful. Then the Live marron, blood lime and native herbs. Visually beautiful on a large blue plate, and so, so fresh (having been alive just prior to cooking) – simple and very good, and matched with a glass of muscatel/pedro ximinez from Spain.
The humble brussel sprout is my favourite vegetable, so I just couldn’t go past the Brussel sprouts with smoked ham hock. The sprouts were sweet and still had a crispness to them (the only way to serve them), and the ham hock meat underneath was juicy. We also love cauliflower and one of the day’s specials was half a roasted cauliflower drizzled with 25 year aged pedro ximinez. Yum.
I always enjoy quail, so the Jurassic quail, toasted spelt and red kale was a must. What came out was the biggest, meatiest quail I’ve ever experienced! Very happy with this, and accompanied with a carafe of Italian aglianico.
And finally, the beef… oh my goodness, that beef! Dry aged for 150+days, ridiculously tasty and cooked perfect medium rare! It’s certainly not the cheapest thing on the menu, and for a minute or two, you try to convince yourself that the lamb, at half the price, will be an acceptable substitute, but no true meat lover will be able to resist ordering this beef. And what’s not to like? The texture, the flavour – oooooh, I’m actually salivating as I’m typing this! There’s something magical in just reading ‘150+ day dry aged’, and combine that with seeing that big rib hanging on the wall and then watching and hearing piece after piece being cut by the meat saw. *sigh*
Summary: Loved this place. Loved the food. Pretty much perfect. Top 100 prediction!