There is a whimsical, Alice-in-wonderland kind of vibe at Firefly. The candles and abundance of red are striking, while beautiful touches like scented face cloths on the table, ribbons, fairy lights and embroided cushions create a very special space. Supporting the decor is the slap in the face aroma that is coming from the busy kitchen. Saffron, cardamom, cinammon, tumeric, coriander seeds, fennel, you name it. With spices and flavours this strong it takes a talented chef to find a balance and so I was as keen as ever to see what was new on the menu. Every time I have been in the past they have really pushed the envelope and this time was no exception...
Now, during the oyster fest certain restaurants have specials with their own interpretation of how to eat the delicacy. Firefly's answer is to smoke them with cherries and serve them with sesame ice cream. Yeah, maybe now you are getting the picture. Although I was worried about it being over the top, the combination was surprisingly subtle and worked well. Other starters included beer-battered tempura prawns, ostrich and orange springrolls and their signature bobotie springrolls. The batter for the prawns was a bit disappointing but everything else was brilliant.
For mains, there was a pork, cardamom and tamarind dish, a potent chicken curry with creative sambals like quince, coriander yoghurt and chilli and cucumber salsa, a milder chicken dish made with five spice and served with wasabi mash, a fairly traditional beef curry and prawns cooked in coconut milk. Every person thought theirs was the best which is always a good sign! Seriously though, mine was the best. The thing I love about Firefly is their range. Curries on offer are South African, Indian, Thai, Indonesian and more. In every dish you can taste the layers of flavour - nothing is added unless it will benefit the dish, Too often, curries are just spices thrown together but here they have carefully thought about the composition of each meal.
Desserts, I must say, did not match up to the rest of the food. We tried two specials of the day and neither made an impression. One was a spanish-styled custard with saffron and the other was basically crushed ginger biscuits topped with cream. Previously I have been blown away by things like banana and chocolate samoosas or liquorice ice ceam so this was a bit of a letdown.
The bill for five of us including 2 bottles of fantastic Shiraz (I forgot the name unfortunately. My bad...) came to R1000 including a tip. For the effort that goes into every dish I found this amazing value. Our waitor Ivan was way above average which is necessary when the menu is this complex.
Eating at Firefly is an experience. It is something special and I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. Don't go there to "pop in". Relax, unwind and enjoy the culinary journey.
Get hold of them on 044 382 1490.
P.S They don't accept credit cards. Nice to know before you arrive.