Fireside Bistro is saved by its location on one of Norwood’s busiest streets, Grant Avenue, which lends a bustling air of being in the mix to a relatively run-of-the-mill grill house. Vegetarians will have few options to work with here since it’s like a suburban shisa nyama with a chef. Noteworthy starters include the snails. Although small, they are practically drowned in a rich garlic and parsley sauce – perfect for mopping up with any carbohydrate. For the carb-conscious, try the flavourful and light beef bresaola with rocket, Parmesan, capers, spring and red onions and raw mushrooms. At this point, vegetarians can choose between grilled haloumi cheese served with a sweet cranberry jelly or grilled polenta topped with grilled mushrooms and baby marrow drizzled in balsamic and olive oil dressing. Mains consist of a range of meaty cuts such as sirloin, rump, T-bone or fillet. The rule goes that you should order to the theme of the restaurant’s claim to fame, so you’ll be less disappointed if you steer clear of the seafood options – the Falklands calamari, although promising a punchy combination of garlic and chilli, is quite bland. Stick to the tried and trusted meat classics: T-bone, rump, fillet or sirloin in a lemon, peri peri or chimichurri sauce, served with sliced roasted potatoes and a mix of broccoli, cauliflower and peppers.
Guests could opt for the lamb cutlets in a white wine, mustard and cream sauce and shanks in a homey, moreish tomato and onion gravy. For vegetarians the option of a vegetarian platter with artichokes, halloumi cheese, a variety of mushrooms and roasted potatoes is available.
The wine list is short and sweet but slightly overpriced for what is on offer.
Be sure to sit front and centre or you might be forgotten by the friendly, well-meaning waitrons.
As you enter, you’re met almost head-on with a roaring fire from the kitchen’s open-flame grill. On a winter’s night, it’s a welcome relief from the cold and it adds much-needed warmth throughout the restaurant. In Summer, the covered, roadside veranda is sure to be most welcome for people watching.
If you’re not in the mood to eat out, you’re welcome to order what you like to go. On Sundays, they do lamb on the spit which we’re told sells out at lightening speed, so you might want to pop in earlier than usual.
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