Firedoor

Every now and then there’s a restaurant that feels like a second home. The staff know what you want to drink and where you want to sit, and the kitchen knows any quirky dietary preferences you may have. It’s where you want to celebrate the good times and take the edge off the bad ones. For some time now, for me, that restaurant has been Firedoor.

Firedoor - lennox Hastie at the Grill - Best Restaurants in Australia
Firedoor Counter Dining - Best Restaurants in Australia

Where I want to sit is at the counter with an uninterrupted view of the action. Watching the flames dance inside the two wood-burning ovens and the sparks fly and flare under the height-adjustable grills on which chef Lennox Hastie cooks everything from just-seared seafood to huge chunks of pork with the crispest crackling. Firedoor is all about wood. Not just the numerous varieties they burn – from old wine barrels to olive, cherry, and apple – but also the solid wooden kitchen counter and tables made from whole slices of trees.

Firedoor Pass - Best Restaurants in Australia

The open kitchen is a hive of concentrated activity, as chefs slice, assemble and plate dishes on the stainless steel pass in front of those lucky enough to score a seat at the kitchen counter. Floor staff, led by the dynamic duo of GM Zoë Burbage and restaurant manager Angelica Patawaran, know that guests often come to Firedoor for a special occasion having planned their night out months in advance. They ensure everyone feels special, taking care of any little requests with charm and grace, including those prized photos with the chef!

Firedoor Moorak wine - Best Restaurants in Australia

Lennox is a strong supporter of local producers and small businesses and the Firedoor drinks list has a strong Aussie focus. It wanders across the globe too, showcasing interesting wines from small producers in his beloved Basque Country, England and Hungary alongside a good range of French, Italian and Spanish classics. But I’m always happiest chatting to one of the sommeliers and seeing what they come up with for me. I’ve tasted so many wonderful wines here for the first time, including Las Vinos, Moorak and Momento Mori, all of which have become firm favourites.

Firedoor - Grilled Coral Trout Head & Pipis in HOusemade XO - Best Restaurants in Australia

Lennox’s mastery of fire shows in his treatment of seafood on the grill, from oysters just warmed, to smoked Yarra Valley trout roe with wattleseed flatbread and house-made creme fraiche. Coral trout, from Chris Bolton in North Queensland, is a favourite ingredient. And when it comes out of the Firedoor kitchen, crisp-skinned and juicy served simply with pil pil sauce and a seasonal green, it’s some of the best seafood you’ll ever taste! A little something off-menu sometimes appears too, such as the coral trout head covered in XO-tossed pipis that I had recently.

Firedoor Wagyu Beef - Best Restaurants in Australia

The simple things are often the best (and hardest to make memorable). A highlight of every meal at Firedoor is the wood-fired sourdough. It’s made in collaboration with baker Shady Wasef who delivers the dough to Firedoor to be cooked in their wood ovens. It’s served with house-smoked butter and toasted grains of rye – and I can’t get enough of it! Then there’s the beef. Sawed from a huge chunk hanging behind the counter (238-days dry-aged last visit), sprinkled liberally with salt and singed by flames jumping up from the coals as fat melts on to them. Tender, juicy, smoky, yum!

Firedoor Petits Fours - Best Restaurants in Australia

Desserts are the one course I can often skip – but not at Firedoor! Firedoor desserts have been some of my favourite dishes ever. Especially the various incarnations of Italian meringue-coated bombes Alaska. The best had a smoked white chocolate, pecan and blood orange heart and was flamed table-side with house-made orange liqueur! Just when you think it’s all over and you can’t fit in another thing, there are those amazing petits fours that demand to be eaten down to the last bite.

Chef/Co-owner Lennox Hastie explains the Firedoor concept:
“I’m fascinated by fire. I spent my early career at Michelin-starred European restaurants, where I learnt so much but began to lose sight of what I loved most about cooking, the ingredients. So I headed to the Spanish Basque country where there’s a strong tradition of wood-fired grilling. I worked at a small asador, Etxebarri, with owner Victor Arguinzoniz, pushing the limits of what could be cooked over a wood fire. It was a form of cooking so completely different – beautifully complex, yet simple. And it highlighted ingredients in their most natural state. That was my turning point. In 2015 when I opened my own restaurant, I knew it would be all about the ingredients and the fire. The Firedoor kitchen is powered entirely by different woods that we burn daily to create the embers used to cook in a way that enhances the natural characteristics of the ingredients. Our kitchen is open-plan, guests are invited into our world to see how simple cooking can be, and how good ingredients become great when grilled over a wood fire. The Firedoor experience is unlike anything else. We’re not fine dining and we aren’t entirely casual, we’re a balance somewhere between the two.”

Lennox Hastie & Cheong Liew Fire Side Dinner at Firedoor - Best Restaurants in Australia

Attention to detail at Firedoor goes beyond the food, wine and service, with steak knives hand-forged by father and daughter Karim and Leila Haddad near Canberra, and ceramics handmade by Sydney potter Malcolm Greenwood. And I love the colourful art commissioned from Marlon Dalton for the menus.

A reservation at Firedoor is one of Australia’s hottest tickets. Bookings open on the first Wednesday of the month, three months in advance, and are snapped up within hours. So reserve your table soon at Firedoor.com.au.

Can’t get a booking? Keep an eye out for Fire Side collaborations, where Lennox shares his kitchen for one night with some of the world’s best chefs, from Aussie icons Cheong Liew (pictured above) and Ben Shewry, to Michelin-starred Swedish chef Niklas Eksted.

Last visited 03 Jul 2024

What Others Diners Say

Mark (Mosman, NSW)
Mark (Mosman, NSW)
Read More
I was lucky enough to attend one of Roberta's Duck and Pinot walks with a group of friends. It was a fantastic afternoon and I can't recommend it highly enough. Roberta is great company and a fantastic guide to the best food experiences Sydney has to offer.
Deborah (Camperdown, NSW)
Deborah (Camperdown, NSW)
Read More
Roberta organises really enjoyable and relaxed dinners where you not only get to eat delicious food from a wide range of cuisines, but also find out more about the cooking techniques and produce with the chefs and producers. I highly recommend 'Be Inspired' dinners.
Errol (Chatswood, NSW)
Errol (Chatswood, NSW)
Read More
Went on the Duck & Pinot tour wonderfully hosted and curated by Roberta - thank you. There was a lot of duck to eat and other dishes as well. Plus I learned about wine and the people who run the restaurants. An event for multiple types of occasions. Can't wait for the next one.
Rita (Glengarry, Tas)
Rita (Glengarry, Tas)
Read More
What an amazing morning touring Sydney Produce Market with Roberta - meeting the growers & agents of some amazing produce & tasting things along the way. My favourites were the red & yellow prickly pears, jujubes, longans, & fresh pistachios. Next was Gozleme for breakfast in Auburn then a tour & tasting at Gima Turkish supermarket & Harkola Middle Eastern warehouse. Highly recommended.
Clare (Sydney, NSW)
Clare (Sydney, NSW)
Read More
Had an amazing time at Roberta’s duck and Pinot tour! Roberta made the day super fun and interesting. Everything was so well organised and the pick of restaurants was spot on. Thanks Roberta for such a terrific experience.
Geoff (Cherrybrook, NSW)
Geoff (Cherrybrook, NSW)
Read More
I recently joined Roberta with friends & colleagues on the Duck & Pinot Walk - incredible afternoon visiting 3 duck restaurants, each very different to the other. Superbly organised! Roberta's first hand knowledge of each dish and her relationship with the restaurant owners made for an extremely enjoyable & memorable time. Would recommend this for families, work functions or just friends getting together.
Previous
Next
Subscribe To My Newsletter & Get A Free Online Italian Cooking Class (RRP $39)