Dinner @ Firedoor (Sydney, Australia)

October 25, 2020 in Australian by thywhaleliciousfay

When I made my reservation to dine at Firedoor in December 2019, I was given the options between table and counter (not to be confused with bar counter) seats. And I opted for the latter. But what I didn’t realise was that depending on which end of the counter one was at, the seats could get pretty hot. Literally because one would be subjected to direct heat from the grill! But don’t get me wrong. I rather be on the ‘hot seat’ cause there’s where I could get my full view of chef-owner Lennox Hastie cooking away at the grill.

Both a-la carte and chef’s menu were offered on the menu. And I went with the chef’s menu. Mainly because I was dining solo and that was my best option of being able to try as many dishes as possible. And thus, I commenced my dinner (chef’s menu, AUD160) with:-

1) Radish, wattleseed, lonza (above) – Wrapped with pork cheek.

2) Oyster, desert lime, oyster leaf (above)


3) Kangaroo, macadamia, davidson plum (above) – The staff opened the lid of the claypot to reveal the kangaroo meat beneath. Embers, which were still burning, were placed beneath the leaves to smoke the meat. Was told by the staff that the meat was more on the raw side so that it could absorb the aroma of the smoked leaves. Was also told to slide the meat off the skewer and into the bread. Something like a sandwich. And the flat bread was really soft. As I tore the bread along the side, I realised it’s like a pita (pocket bread). Tried a piece of the kangaroo meat on its own and it was tenderly good. I really enjoyed this.

4) Burratina, peach, smoke tomato (above) – The smokiness in the tomato was distinct. Nice.

5) Bonito, blood plum, celtuce (above) – I loved everything about this dish. The bonito was beautifully grilled; Its centre still slightly opaque. And the sweetness of the succulent flesh was enhanced by the slightly salty brown butter-tamari sauce and crispy fried capers.

6) Yellow squash, pyengana, lovage (above)


7) Bread, cultured butter, sprouted rye (above) – Served slightly charred, I preferred if the bread was served warm. Not sure why I had that expectation though. Maybe cause fire seemed easily accessible in Firedoor, and I was craving for warm bread? Shrug.

8) Murray cod, tatsoi, pil pil (above)

9) Pork chop, pepper, charred leek (above) – Beef was on the original menu as the main course. The staff offered to replaced it with fish when I mentioned my dietary restriction (of no beef). However, noting that there’s already a few fish dishes on the menu, I stated my preference for something else. And was thus given pork.

10) Geraldton wax, chamomile, fig leaf (above)


11) Woodfired rum baba, smoked creme diplomat (above)

12) Marshmallow (above) – With plum and dark chocolate.

Seated at the counter meant there was opportunity to talk to head chef Lennox. He asked if I was local or visiting. I replied, “travelling”. Not exactly true, but I still do feel like I’m a tourist despite having spent 5 months in Australia (at the point of dinner). And I noticed he talked more to the locals. I guess his initial question was his way of sassing out which customers are easier happier to converse with> Shrug. But I was happy to be left alone. I had drinks with colleagues prior to dinner, and was a bit… Haha.

Will I recommend Firedoor? I sure do! I enjoyed the dishes although I wished I had a bigger stomach cause I would have loved to try some of the a-la carte dishes like the pipis or (whole) quail. And it’s always intriguing and fascinating to visit a restaurant which did all their cooking by fire. Yes, including warm water served to customers.

And it’s nice that Firedoor has received increased publicity with its appearance on Netflix’s Chef’s Table BBQ. As taken from Firedoor’s website… Head chef Lennox takes viewers on a journey through his childhood, his career, and his fascination with fire. He showcases how he draws extraordinary flavors out of meat, fish and vegetables using only a wood fire, a grill and his unique skills honed in Spain at Etxebarri and then in Sydney at Firedoor. Introducing viewers to a number of amazing Australian producers and pushes the limits of traditional open flame cooking, breathing new life into the meaning of barbecue. The downside is that they are fully booked till May 2020. I kid not.

23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW, Australia
+61 2 8204 0800, Website
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Thur – Fri : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Tues – Sat : 17:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon & Sun