Every now and then there is a venue that gets it just right – food, drinks and atmosphere – without pretentiousness or fuss.
From philosophy to plate, Firefly is getting it right. Testament to the fact that Toowoomba’s food and coffee scene is continuing to take off, this place is being sought after by the passer-through, attended daily by locals and has a social media following bigger than the average big-city restaurant.
Since opening in 2011, owners Jess and Asher Andrews have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Jess puts her managerial and barista skills to use, while head chef Asher rules the kitchen. Belief in first-class ingredients, fresh dishes with plenty of flavour, and great coffee has been the winning formula for this husband and wife team. The feeling of goodness extends to the atmosphere. Recycled timber boards, a huge goddess-like mural on the wall overlooking patrons and fresh flowers on all tables all play a part in creating a successful café. “Our concept is to provide an honest and warm space for people that can bring an element of ‘special’ to their day through enjoying the décor, getting lost in a beautiful coffee or enjoying a tasty, fresh meal made from scratch,” says Jess. The cold-press juices, freshly baked sourdough from the woodfired oven, homemade condiments in glass jars, strong lattes, quaint brown paper touches and potted herbs are perfect finishing touches for this cafe. Despite Firefly’s hipster overtones, cafes like this are great news for diners. They are giving patrons a healthy option, and fostering a place where people of like-mindedness can come together and enjoy a positive atmosphere while grazing on something delicious and healthy.
Popular breakfast items at Firefly include house spiced beans with mild chilli sambal, house organic woodfired sourdough and the avocado goodness with tomato, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, house relish, house woodfired organic sourdough. Lunch will see you tossing up between the coriander and cumin falafel, fresh lemon, pumpkin hummus, tabouli, cucumber or the fennel cured salmon, avocado, kale, quinoa, house beetroot relish.
There is a trend in smaller cafes and venues to offer dinner one night a week. Having the assurance of a full house booked out in advance dramatically reduces the gamble for keeping a venue open at night. The Friday night dinners at Firefly are proving legendary. Customers will be surprised with an a la carte meal or share plates for the whole table. With main courses like Australian barramundi on smashed avocado, black beans and lemon butter and rolled herb and seeded mustard beef with pea puree and cauliflower mash, there is little doubt why these dinners are so popular.
Jess and Asher have built their business on strong foundations, have put in the time and effort to know how to run a café and have the skills to make it work. This was something they always wanted to do and Jess says, “When you have such a strong drive to do something, it’s almost like you have no choice. You just have to do it.”
Words Alice Thompson Images supplied by Firefly Restaurant