the best dining experience we had while in australia was at firedoor in the surry hills neighborhood of sydney. all the cooking is powered by wood-fire (as opposed to electric or gas power) and watching the various wood ovens and grills in the open kitchen is really fascinating.
we really came for the 140 day dry aged steak that came at the end of the meal, but everything else on the menu looked so good we couldn't help but order the chef's tasting menu AND add on a few dishes. and then the chef also sent over some additional complimentary plates. we were so full afterwards, but no regrets because every bite was mind-bogglingly delicious. one of my favorites of the night was the pipis, a local type of clam with the prettiest shade of purple shell. they were cooked simply with garlic and a type of succulent in a way that made my taiwanese taste buds very, very happy. oh look, here's an interview and recipe!
funnily enough, they don't serve pizzas, but because they have a wood-fired oven, they said they often get walk-ins asking if they serve pizza. so they bake some of their delicious bread and sprinkle some cheese on top!
okay, onto that dry aged beef. 140 days definitely the longest aging we've ever experienced (they also had 165 days on the menu, but we stuck to the 140). i think the next closes was the 80 day at gwen late last year. we thought for sure this would be super funky but it wasn't funky at all. it was actually quite mellow but had developed really nuanced flavors i haven't tasted before. and even though it's a pretty fatty cut, it had a much more pleasant mouthfeel than i expected.
i really can't recommend firedoor enough, especially if you can get a seat at the counter and watch all the activity unfold in the kitchen, meet the chef and ask questions! definitely worth a visit.
23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia