Review: Lennox Hastie's Firedoor, Sydney
Chutzpah, and a lucky connection found us a table at Firedoor recently. Yes, we were feeling grateful for the hard to come by booking, but the dishes that began to arrive made us realize exactly why we felt that gratitude.
Seated by the windows overlooking a quiet little Surry Hills street lined with plane trees, we sipped our cocktails and glasses of wine as chef Lennox Hastie glided back and forth from hearth to oven doors to grills, tossing, basting, turning, sprinkling, honing, checking and adjusting flavours. Supporting him, an attentive, industrious team of kitchen professionals who seemed to duck and weave in quiet harmony with the maestro amongst the leaping flames, the embers and the curling smoke.
The space at Firedoor is somehow- just right. It is warm and cosy but airy. It hums with activity, but it is also quiet, the materials used are rich, but honest. Every detail is thoughtful and and considered. It is also friendly and welcoming, no hint of pretension anywhere. My ultimate happy combination is achieved right here- special, but unpretentious.
The food at Firedoor is a revelation: Lennox Hastie has uniquely harnessed the unpredictable power of fire to transform beautiful local produce for the table. Ranging from high heat searing to low ember slow cooking, to smoking, every dish that arrives at the table is breath taking. Assembled together in a beautiful hand made dish or bowl, are ingredients common and rare married together simply and beautifully to produce a explosion of flavours, heightened by the means in which they were cooked.
Hawkesbury vegetables with buttermilk and smoked eel, snapper with charred leek and blood orange, extraordinary pork (truly!) with memorable andean gold potatoes, mustard and muntries, asparagus with mussel cream and rye, albacore with celtics, loquat and wasabi; taste after taste is a truly delicious celebration of the ingredients.
Add to this elevated mastery of food is a service team both intelligent and friendly, who seem to have any information about the menu at the the ready, no request too troublesome, melting away and appearing at the right time. The elegant ducking and weaving that carries on so harmoniously around the maestro at the hearth, extends to the floor.
Enthusiastic and fluent sommelier advice table side, golden diffused lighting, and elegant but simple seating wrap up this entire experience with full marks.
Much has been made of Hastie's food on Chef's Table- BBQ. You can also read about his cooking philosophy in his book, Finding Fire; the legend of Hastie's food precedes him, but I wanted to capture a little of the in-house dining experience which brings together the entire experience.
23-33 Mary Street
Ph: +61 2 82040800