Highlights of the winter menu included zucchini flowers stuffed with a mousse-like scallop and creamy stracchino filling, with aioli on the side for dipping to add extra creaminess and a garlic kick. Contrasting in flavours was the charred and smoky ‘Lamb backstrap with smoked eggplant and baked mushrooms’, as well as the earthy ‘Salad of roasted beetroot, labna and toasted walnuts’ with a sweet and sticky balsamic dressing.
A pasta or two can usually be found on the menu, with the winter offering of ‘Papardelle with slow-cooked lamb shank and aged parmesan’ particularly comforting with tender, fork-apart lamb to accompany buttered ribbons of pasta and cherry tomato halves to cut through the richness. The ‘Linguine with pork chorizo, tomato, capers and a touch of chilli’ on the current menu provides a kick of sense-awakening flavours.
Firefly’s signature rectangular pizzas with their thin bases are no longer offered at half-price on certain evenings, but this has been replaced with a $16 pizza deal on Mondays to Saturdays from 3-6pm and on Sundays from 3-8pm. Perfect for feeding the clan, Dr King has become a big fan of the pungent and seriously cheesy ‘Roast mushroom, three cheese and truffle oil pizza’. The recent addition of the ‘Pork belly and pear chutney pizza’ has Monsieur Poisson and I revelling in the delights of fatty belly chunks inter-splodged with tangy pear chutney with an after-note of heat.
But it’s their latest share items of ‘Wagyu sliders’ and ‘Scotched eggs with spicy unami sauce’ which have captured my heart. Four mini-burgers with thick patties, aged cheddar, tangy gherkins and a spicy tomato relish are a steal at only $15. (Incidentally, the menu states three burgers to a serve but somehow we’ve received four?) A plate of these along with Firefly’s battered potato or zucchini fries and that’s lunch sorted for two people, I reckon. The panko-coated scotched eggs are $12 for two, but are quite filling and could be shared between four people. I can’t pick the exact flavours of the ‘spicy unami sauce’ but it definitely is tasty.
Dessert brings us to the ‘Black Russian Tart’ ordered out of curiosity when described to us as a cocktail reinterpreted in dessert form. There’s nothing not to love about this boozy tart with its chocolate biscuit crumb crust, wobbly filling and almost-solid chocolate top layer. A scoop of mascarpone and beautifully-fanned strawberry provide relief from the sugar.
The ‘Firefly mess’ is one for the serious sweet-tooths, with poached pear, fresh strawberry slices and drizzles of strawberry sauce in amongst crumbled meringue pieces. I suspect it’s the sauce which, tasting like strawberry jam, is what pushes me over the sugar ledge and has me putting my spoon down after only three mouthfuls. Monsieur Poisson powers on with gusto however and, despite proclaiming it as one of the sweetest desserts he’s ever had, finishes everything bar the pool of strawberry sauce at the base! Feeling up to a sugar challenge? Try this while it’s still on the menu.
Lane Cove Market Place (entrance on paved street mall connecting Burns Bay Rd & Longueville Rd), 24 Burns Bay Rd, Lane Cove NSW
Tel: (02) 9420 1629
Opening Hours: 7 days..8am-10pm (breakfast until 3pm daily)