Fire Door, Sydney

Didn’t set me alight

I love the concept of Fire Door. Everything cooked over wood/hot coals.

I believe there are two types of men in the world, those comfortable with their pyromania, and those in denial. I am happily in the first camp. Hence my instant approval of Fire Door.


Note: this is precisely what I lust over if I renovate my kitchen.

Back to the South Side

This visit is slightly out of order, but one of my dining companions guilted me into doing it sooner.

First impressions were really good: a solid cocktail list in the drinks and not even bat an eyelid when I asked the waiter for a South Side. This euphoria was slightly unwound when he returned a couple of minutes later to check if I wanted it with Gin …

Arrival greeted me with a near perfect looking specimen:

South Side Cocktail, Fire Door Sydney

At this stage my expectations were quite high. They knew what it was and delivered a perfect looking example. From first sight, it was clear the bartender knew what he was doing.

My first sip burst with the refreshing hints of mint and a lovely sweetness that suggested the sugar balance was near spot on. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.

There were two key let downs:

  1. There wasn’t enough citrus to balance the gin. While you did taste the citrus, I will still left with a gin aftertaste. If I wanted to sample their gin, I would have ordered a martini. A great South Side hides the aftertaste.
  2. It had been shaken too long resulting in too much broken ice. This left a watery drink (however, beautifully chilled on arrival).
South Side Cocktail, Fire Door Sydney

That it was so loose as an example was ultimately more disappointing after the initial prospects.

Herein lies an example where a good bartender couldn’t quite nail the South Side. Yes, they balanced the sugar well. Yes, there was delightful mint. But the miss on the citrus and the watery looseness brought this offer back to the pack.

Fire Door: 2.5 stars

The rest?

Fire Door delivered on the pyromania/carnivore scale tremendously well. Their 150+ day aged Rangers Valley was special. On arrival, I asked for mustard or horseradish. The waitress said she needed to go back to the kitchen to check. By the time she had returned to say the kitchen was preparing a salsa verde, I had already wolfed down a couple of strips and immediately said that the steak didn’t need anything more. Apologies to the team if the salsa verde went to waste: but the steak simply didn’t need it.

On reflection, I need to head back to Rockpool Bar & Grill which I previously considered the gold standard for steak in Sydney. There might well be a new winner.

We also sampled the roasted Snapper fish head and shared vegetables. Everything was polished off with the table asking for more.

It was a great meal and night and I will happily go back. It’s just not a great South Side. As always, the journey continues.

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