Firefly – Neutral Bay

{invite} Bianca: Share plates was all the rage many years ago, you couldn’t walk into a restaurant without seeing those buzzwords. While I do appreciate the convivial aspect and sampling morsels of food, I was always drawn to bigger, heartier meals. I think it’s the Italian in me.

Firefly having closed its operations in Walsh Bay and Lane Cove now have the single store in Neutral Bay, lining the main dining strip on Grosvenor St. With a main focus on Modern Australian tapas but truly encompassing all cuisines including Italian and Asian. Completely unbeknownst to me they also double as a Pinot Noir wine bar, as well as offering an array of cocktails. I was on antibiotics but nothing could stop me from sampling the wares! Chin chin.

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To get a good breadth of the food, Curtis suggested we go with the Deluxe Sharing Banquet $55 p.p. Which pretty much had everything we were eyeing minus the warm bread with truffle butter. But let’s face it, these two fatties didn’t need to add carbs to an otherwise extensive looking menu.

Alex started with the Pinot special and I the rum based Still Stormy $12. Starting the banquet with a complete left of centre dish, especially when one uses the term ‘tapas’ in the same sentence. The Smoked trout, betel leaves, coconut dressing was a great introduction to the food at Firefly. A small three bite parcel which was fresh and light. A creamy texture with the trout being finely sliced and quite mild in flavour. Which is the perfect complement I could make of any fish. The flavours were well-balanced with the smokiness lingering in the background. The crispy shallots were the perfect adornment to add some crunch.

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Another Asian inspired dish was the Duck pancake w/shallots and hoisin sauce, which was as good as you’d get in any Chinese restaurant. If not better! The duck was tender, the pancake thin and there was a nice sweetness from the hoisin. This was one of my favourites.

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It should actually be a crime just how much I adore cheese, back in my more ‘voluptuous’ days it was completely normal for me to fry up a piece of haloumi drizzled with lemon for an afternoon snack. Haloumi to this day is still one of my favourite cheeses, so I welcomed the Grilled Haloumi –w/watermelon, mint and toasted almonds with open arms/ mouth. The haloumi still had that squeaky quality and paired with the watermelon the texture was interesting. I liked the juxtaposing salty/sweet aspect with the crunch from the almonds but I was expecting to like this more than I actually did.

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The next item was a no brainer for us. Pasta = check! I’ve always tended to gravitate to vegetarian over meat filled pastas. And the Pumpkin tortellini –w/ sage and beurre noisette is a very strong standout on the banquet. Italian bias aside. Thin pasta encased a rich pumpkin puree, with the nuttiness from the beurre noisette coating each mouthful. The lightly toasted almonds seemed to be the order of the day as they made another appearance here.

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And the last of the lighter offerings, the Seared Scallops –w/ morcilla and pickled pear. The scallops were a standout but I’m not a fan of morcilla at all. Alex thoroughly enjoyed it but that’s only because I told him what was actually in the sausage after his last mouthful. My own personal preferences aside, I just felt the blood sausage was too overpowering for such a delicate fish, perhaps even a smaller slice of morcilla would work.

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Coming up to the heartier and larger dishes, the first of which was the Crispy Pork Belly –w/ chilli caramel and Asian herbs, luscious fatty pork that separated at the slightest prod. A mixture of sweet and salty hits from the pork and the chilli caramel. And topping it all off the crispy skin.

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As well as the Roasted Lamp Rump – w/crushed minted potatoes and pea puree. First things first, unless it’s wedged inside a kebab or a slow cooked lamb shoulder Alex and I aren’t huge fans of lamb. It was a perfect medium rare and melt in the mouth tender but ultimately not our favourite dish. The potatoes were a highlight, if not to have something substantial to end the meal, they had also soaked up a great deal of the juices from the lamb and the pea puree.

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And to tie the pork and lamb together an accompanying salad of Roasted Beetroot –w/ goats feta and walnuts. I enjoyed all the elements barring the title star beetroot, which I don’t like at all. The creaminess from the feta and the bite of the walnuts make for a more enjoyable salad.

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And of course no meal in FFS land can ever end without a sweet ending. We were a little undecided when it came to dessert so we got two. The Eton Mess $10 was on the sweet side and I enjoyed the crushed meringues fresh raspberries and strawberries. But I’m a chocolate gal through and through so I enjoyed the second dessert much more.

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The ‘Milky Bar’ Cheesecake w/hot fudge sauce $12 gave the illusion of decadence but was incredibly light without leaving us feeling purge worthy afterwards. Definitely our pick.

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And topping it all off with an Espresso Martini.

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It can be a lucky dip at tapas restaurants but so much effort was put into each formed ‘bite’ and we really did thoroughly enjoy the food at Firefly, so if you are into shared plates it’s a great option and you can really tailor the meal accordingly, if you’re hungry…go nuts!

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Bianca

Photos by Alex

 

*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Firefly but all opinions remain our own.

Firefly Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Author: forfoodssake

A Sydney food blog.

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