So as the runner-up to our Best New Restaurant gong at 2015’s Time Out Sydney Food Awards, you already know how much we love Firedoor. With chef Lennox Hastie cooking everything over fire, nabbing a seat at the kitchen-bar and watching the flames a’blaze while he chucks in more wood and sears his next steak is a pretty perfect evening out. Who needs Masterchef?
Firedoor is not a cheap eat – it would be hard to get out with change from $100 per head at evening service (more if you want to try that steak). But, like so many things, you get what you pay for: the meat and fish here are the finest in town; in fact that steak he’s cooking up (sometimes dry aged up to 234 days – while as average steak is aged around 30 days) is undoubtedly the best in Sydney. But now the man is running $55 lunches on Thursday and Fridays, and they are un-freaking-real. Plus, you can actually afford to eat them.
You get three courses for that price, and an excellent bonus of sourdough bread. It’s wood-fired and the smoke permeates the whole loaf – crust, crumb and all. The crumb is as soft as a feather-filled pillow and the crust chewy and robust: it’s a bit of dark and light, and we love it. Served warm with smoked butter, the whole thing is a dish unto itself.
The courses change daily depending on what’s good and what’s fresh. We try teeny school prawns that are served with garlic chives and chilli, and eat them whole to enjoy the crunch and crack amongst the tender meat within. Creamy, whole borlotti beans are served with sweet pumpkin, bitter radicchio and salty pecorino cheese. Blue-finned gurnard cooked to unctuousness is paired with a riff on ratatouille, and chuck steak is served pink and tossed with mushrooms and a sweet, acidic raisin sauce. For dessert we dive into ruby hued grilled quince with olive-oil-based arbequina cake and pistachios.
You can be in and out within an hour if you tell them when you sit down, so you don’t even need to take a day off work. Although, if you want to spend the money you're saving on a bottle of fresh, acidic Friends of Punch Mallani vineyard chardonnay from Beechworth, Victoria, take your time and knock off for the afternoon, we won't tell anyone.
This is not a review – Time Out Sydney dined as a guest of Firedoor.
Read our full review of Firedoor here.
Want to find out what other fancy restaurants you can eat at on the cheap? Check out our story on just that, Cheap Hacks for Fancy Places, here.