Gildas, the Basque-inspired spin-off of Firedoor, is coming to Surry Hills soon

A Basque-inspired wine bar derived from chef Lennox Hastie’s award-winning Surry Hills restaurant, Firedoor? Yes please.

Gildas will open mid-year to a kick from Xabi Alonso of mothership Firedoor, slipping into the former home of Chur Burger, a site with plenty of Sydney culinary lineage.

The building, at the corner of Mary and Albion streets, was previously occupied by the hat restaurants Assiette and Becasse.

The Surry Hills site which housed the gourmet restaurant Assiette will be transformed into Gildas. Photo: Steve Luna

“People always ask where they should go for a drink before or after a meal at the Firedoor,” says Hastie, who decided to provide the answer himself.

The plan is to open half of Gildas to bookings up to three months in advance, leaving the rest to walk-in customers.

Hastie opened Firedoor in 2015 in partnership with Fink, the restaurant group behind Quay and Otto Ristorante. This collaboration will continue at Gildas, which takes its name from the 1946 film noir, Gilda. Rita Hayworth’s character in the film inspired the pintxo snacks with green olives, anchovies and green chili that became popular in San Sebastian.

Hastie wants to champion small local producers at Gildas, and while he says the menu is still on the way, his resume includes a stint at a Basque tapas bar, so expect something quite authentic.

“I am attracted to places where I enjoy myself, and what I liked in the Basque Country is that you can eat well on so many different levels”, explains the chef.

Hastie has seen a number of changes at Surry Hills since he opened Firedoor seven years ago, and while he jokes it’s gotten a bit gym-heavy, he’s delighted that the region has retained a diverse mix of businesses.

It’s also strong in hotel action, with Ace Hotel Sydney and spin-off Nomad Beau joining Gildas for the mid-year opening party.

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