Dining Review: The Blue Door – Sydney, Australia
Surry Hills is known for their epic food scene so when we decided to stay there to explore Sydney, we had to make sure to check out the restaurants nearby. In searching, one stood out among the rest – The Blue Door. While there were not many reviews, they were all five stars so that told me that this was an undiscovered gem just waiting to blow up. I could not wait to experience this DESKRIB Discovery.
With a blue door appropriately on display, this spot immediately reminded us of restaurants in Europe – seating for about 20 people, the chef (Dylan) and two sous chefs working the kitchen, and two servers, one of which being wine sommelier (Angelica) – a small operation doing exactly what they want to do. The Blue Door serves a tasting menu that is a display of New South Wales farmers – the menu changes weekly, sometimes more, depending on what is fresh and available. The focus is also on sustainability – only purchase whole animals, they visit the farmers – even so far as fished with one of the fisherman), and even repurposed left over bread.
And the award winning wine program displays wine gems from all over New South Wales. The options for wine feel endless but what we absolutely loved was the offering to share a wine tasting – two people sharing the volume of wine for a full tasting. I wish more places offered this – for those that love wine but do not want to fill up on liquid or feel the headache the next morning, this option is truly a testament to how much they love their wine and make it accessible to everyone.
This was going to be an epic meal!
The Blue Door Lancer Wheat Sourdough, Yesterdays Sourdough dinner roll, Cultured Butter and Salt Tasting
A bread course worthy of its own course. Homemade sourdough bread, homemade butter, recycled dinner rolls, and .. salt tasting?! We have never had something like this and we loved how unique this is to compliment the bread. The sock salts are from all over the world – Persia, Bolivia, Austria and India – and came with a grater to try them all in whatever portion tickled your fancy. The entire room erupted with the sound of grating these salt rocks, as all the guests started looking around the room and giggling at how fun this was. Some of the salts were extra salty while others had a sulfur taste. I think it goes without saying that the bread was wonderful – I loved the concept of recycling day old bread that was not used for the dinner service prior to make into dinner rolls. And this was just the first course! Needless to say, this was super fun.
Blue Door Snack Attack
I think these are some of my favorite types of courses – where you get a bunch of little snack size portions to showcase the chef’s range and also have fun with the ingredients. Among our snack arrangement this evening we had beef marmalade croquet, veggie olive, tart, homemade bread with ricotta, and tuna tartar. Everything on the table was incredible – full of flavor despite the small size.
Chris Bolton Red Throat Emperor Sashimi – Dashi, kohlrabi, apple, lemon myrtle and finger lime
Wine: Mallaluka blend of Zibbibo/Chardonay/Riesling
While I have not heard of this fish before, it was described as cod like and I was happy to have raw fish. A simple presentation that allowed the fish to shine, the fish was extremely fresh and we learned it was hand caught by the fisherman. The wine pairing here really impressed us with such a well balanced blend Zibbibo, Chardonnay, and Riesling with a floral bouquet on the nose and tropical fruit on the palette. I wish this bottle was accessible at home because we really loved it.
Gundooee Pasture Raised Organic Wagyu Beef Pastrami – caraway crumbs, charred cabbage, buttermilk dressing
Wine: diRenzo x Blue Door House white
A sneak peek of a future course, Wagyu beef is top of the line and being transformed into pastrami is brilliant – this was definitely the best pastrami we have ever had. Pairing this salty pastrami with a creamy butter milk dressing and caraway crumbs for a crunch to add texture is double brilliant. The dressing was so good we used some of that bread to sop it all up. The wine pairing was an excludsive to the Blue Door as it was made in partnership with diRenzo to create a white blend. This wine was a great call to use acid to cut through the richness of the dish, even having a funky nose to match the pastrami and a mild sweetness on the palette to match the sweetness of the buttermilk.
Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod Linguine – smoked with house made Chorizo
Wine: Hot and Hunter Gruner Veltliner
Pasta? Homemade pasta? My heart sung! The smoked cod on top of the pasta was very well prepared and really captured the smoky quality that elevated the fish. I ended up eating all the fish first to then enjoy the pasta on its own. I am always surprised when I enjoy a cooked fish course but this one really leaned more like smoked salmon which is probably why I liked it so much. The pasta was perfect, and while the chorizo was spicy I was able to navigate around it and Kevin enjoyed the extra chorizo. I could have eaten five more of these pasta portions and it is so uncommon in a tasting menu to have pasta. A Gruner was a welcomed surprise for the wine pairing as I figured we would have moved onto red wine for this dish. The wine played on the smokiness of the fish and the chorizo, another bullseye wine pairing.
Kanooka Creek Farm Pasture Raised Chicken Breast – leek ash, Duck Foot Farm leek, hay sauce and Marlivale Farm Rain Fed brown rice
Wine: Printhie Pinot Meunier
I am not a big chicken fan but this chicken looked nothing like the chicken I am used to. In fact, it reminded us of the chicken at Paul Bocuse in France – the special volaille de Bresse chicken. The chicken itself was outstanding and really in a different league – this is what chicken should be and if it was, I would be chicken’s #1 fan. This dish was so creative in emphasizing sustainability. The leeks in the dish were used in two ways- the first being a normal leek on the plate and the second being leek ash that was added to the outside of the chicken. The rice comes from the only farm that does not water the grain and instead relies solely on the rainfall, and the sauce was made using hay to complement the chicken’s upbringing. What an incredibly well thought out dish! The wine shifted to red but the lighter side of Pinot Meunier which we have enjoyed on our trip.
Gundooee Pasture Raised Wagyu Beef – pomme anna, pickled radish, onion, and watercress
Wine: Renzaglia Cab Merlot
The same Wagyu served in the pastrami dish made a second appearance in our last savory dish and my goodness it was delicious. The cut of meat was exceptional and so well prepared. Everything on this plate was amazing – the potatoes were finely sliced and stacked to give a crunch exterior and a soft interior, the veggies were fresh , and the beef stock had a great consistency and flavor. This wine was a single vineyard Cabernet Merlot blend full of tannins and a big nose to keep up with the Wagyu. and what Ienjoyed even more was the portion size as we got to the later dishes – they were all very reasonable.
Bread and Butter Pudding
Wine: Patina Stinky Tea Riesling
Dessert! And this was not just any bread pudding – this was a brioche spiced bread topped with macadamia praline, honey ice cream, and swimming in a spiced custard to make this the best bread and butter pudding ever. The wine pairing was a late harvest Riesling except not sweet but instead had a tea like taste. This dessert was fantastic and the perfect way to close out an incredible meal.
While Kevin enjoyed his French press coffee, the meal ended with a few small sweets to send us a good night. In the box were lemon tarts, chocolate fudge, and chocolate chip cookies. It was no surprise that all of these were delicious and a wonderful surprise before we left the Blue Boor after a memorable meal.
We left elated that we found the Blue Door – what an amazing meal that definitely elevates to one of our favorites not just of this trip but for the year. The food was all exceptional and completely embodies the mission of this restaurant and the portion sizes were perfect for the courses presented. The wine program here is worthy of all the accolades and the added bonus of pairing meant we got to enjoy the meal even more – I really hope this is a concept that catches on. The staff are so welcoming and proud of the Blue Door providing excellent service. The dining environment was fun and casual, like eating in someone’s home. I was amazed when Angelica mentioned they opened in October 2021 but then the number of reviews does line up with a recent opening. This spot is going to become a must stop in Surry Hills if it is not there already.