Those cavemen were onto something – no amount of gas, induction, solid-plate electric makes food taste like fire does. Flame and food may have moved forward a few million years but we are rediscovering our Homosapien roots thanks to Firedoor for creating a new seasonal menu (which has us wishing for the time dinosaurs roamed the earth and we all had a mum called Wilma).
This is creative theatre at its best; exposed brickwork, wooden tables and an awe-inspiring steel furnace. Abandon the tables, the real fun is the kitchen bar seating area so you can view the flame theatre. Get yourself a front row seat and marvel as chef Lennox Hastie plays the pulleys of racks and rigs like a gourmet conductor ensuring each plate is precise, artful and hums with flavour.
So to the food. You may think meat would be the key attraction, but the real magic is the delicacy and technique shown to seafood, vegetables and dare we say it … bread! It’s perhaps the best sough dough in Sydney. Perfectly caramelised crust yields to a soft fleshy pull apart structure with a flavour and chewiness which is so good you may shed a tear of happiness. Smear on smoked butter and already it’s a great meal to remember. Two glistening glamorous wild king prawns are followed by slightly charred roman beans on a bed of pureed and toasted almond slivers for texture. Baby cos is grilled creating sweetness decadently dotted with guanciale, soft pork cheeks adding an umami layer. Two fillets of mackerel dance on a plate of heirloom vegetables, radishes, beetroot and spice from horseradish. The Murray cod is an indulgence for two, you can’t help but get stuck in with sticky fingers getting the last of the sweet flesh from the bone. The sourcing is spectacular.
Wines are as unique as the food; a Bouza Albarino from Uruguay, a Riesling/Chardonnay blend from Victoria and to finish a Spanish Castana dulce monastrell which is good enough to replace dessert but you’ll love ashed goat’s cheese parfait.
Somewhere along the line we disconnect from our food…foams, sous vide and modern techniques. We are reminded that sustainable sourcing from boutique caring producers, cooked with love over flame is perhaps the simplest thing of all, delivering an experience few of us have had the privilege to experience – what seasonal food cooked with love tastes like.
23 – 33 Mary Street, Surry Hills 2010