Wine bars are the new trend in Sydney – previously you had to agonise over the menu and pain-stakingly select a main, only to stare enviously at your dinner partner’s meal for the rest of the night, however now the appeal of a variety of small dishes, or ‘tapas’, enjoyed in a dimly-lit atmosphere, has struck the appetites of many. The novelty of getting to try more of the menu, while not a cheaper option than regular a la carte dining, is certainly mouth-watering.
Firefly is a branch of wine bars having locations in Walsh Bay, Neutral Bay, and Lane Cove. Originally my dinner partner for the night, A-Dawg, had suggested the Walsh Bay location, however after a strenuous week and more days and nights in the city over the week than I would like, I was in the mood for something on my side of the bridge, and was delighted to discover that there was an establishment close to us.
We arrived on a Saturday night just past 7.00 pm and realised there was no need for our reservation, as the place was not even half full. Upon being seated at a rocky round wooden table the size of a large dinner plate, we were handed paper menus. Predictably, with A-Dawg and I both loving our food, we had already looked at the menu online and had a general idea of what we liked the look of – it was simply a matter to see if our tastes coincided.
We started off with a jug of white Sangria, consisting of a heady mix of white wine, gin, lemonade, fresh apple, orange and strawberries ($10 pp):
The first little dish to come out was the one I had had my eye on immediately: the Herb Gnocchi with truffled mushroom, goats cheese and peas ($12). I was delighted to see long strands of Enoki mushrooms throughout the little dish, and while the taste of truffle was wonderful, the gnocchi was sadly chewy and un-’pillow’-like.
Next to arrive was the Peking Duck Pancakes with shallots and Hoisin sauce ($20). The duck meat inside the pancake had been cooked ’til tender, and pieces of cucumber made the pancake refreshing rather than cloying, despite my usual dislike for the vegetable.
We were curious to try their supposedly Infamous Zucchini Fries, which were seasoned with za’atar (spice mix) and served with aioli ($9). They came out in a little pot, the strips of zucchini lightly coated in a tempura batter and fried. With zucchini being quite a wet vegetable, predictably, the larger fries were rather unusually spongy. A & I both preferred the smaller, crunchier pieces, dipping it into the small dish of aioli, which thankfully wasn’t heavy in the garlic.
Last to arrive was a dish you typically see on any tapas restaurant menu: the ‘Patatas De Casa’ Garlic Roasted Potatoes with chilli chutney ($10). And I do love my potatoes :) With the potatoes roasted until they were tender, the chilli chutney added a mouth-warming heat that wasn’t overwhelming and making us reach for our glasses of Sangria (that was voluntary!).
Oh and bathrooms were located in the shopping centre complex, just a short walk from the restaurant. We dropped by Woolies afterwards to pick up a tub of sorbet, choosing to skip the dessert menu as we were feeling nicely full by this stage.
With the menu having slight differences between each three of the venues, you simply cannot just visit the one! Simple and fresh food that’s reasonably priced, made into tasty dishes to share and the opportunity to try a bit of everything, instead of having to mow through a massive main on your own.
24 Burns Bay Road, Lane Cove NSW 2066
(02) 9420 1629