If it doesn’t steal your heart, it will certainly borrow it for a while
Don't you love when a place breaks with tradition, and actually pulls it off? So often, restaurants mess it up, sacrificing flavour and balance for the anarchic sake of rebellion – they put kimchi on your all-American burger, or pour sake into your peppercorn sauce. Just. Stop.
Thankfully, the folks at Thievery are just getting started – and they're mixing things up right. Inside this new Lebanese eatery – a sorely needed after-dark addition to Glebe Point Road – the joy of layering rich-on-rich is properly recognised. A tall dome of creamy hummus is doused with nutty, paprika-tinted melted butter, and smoke-rich baba ganoush is served with a generous folding of crunchy pinenuts and big dollops of tart, full-bodied sheep’s yoghurt.
It’s clever cooking. Which makes sense, given the head chef is Jordan Muhamad, late of Rockpool and Chin Chin. Boosting street cred is consulting chef Julian Cincotta, the 2015 Josephine Pignolet Chef of the Year, and Nomad and Rockpool alumnus. It isn’t hard to see the duo's stamp on the menu – nothing lands on the table that doesn’t provoke fireworks on the palate. And a testy dish like the fried chicken in the ‘LFC’ is super crisp, the meat within just cooked, keeping the juiciness intact. Its accompanying jet-black dip turns out to be squid ink infused toum (garlic sauce), complementing the meat with a sour/salty vibe.
The drinks here are as good as the food. The Lebanese-themed cocktails include the Wet Rose, which tastes just as you'd expect it to based on that name: floral and soft, perfumed by tea-infused vodka, pomegranate and rosewater. The Baby Got Baklava is like an Amaretto Sour tinged with pistachio and honey, and a good dose of bourbon and Amaretto to keep things friendly.
Drinks like these call for booze foods. As such, they serve kebabs in droves. Resting on soft, charred pitas, they're like miniature soft taco flavour bombs, piled high with fillings that balance savoury, salty, creamy and sour. Take the slow roast lamb, caramelised and crackly in places, with punch from pickled garlic and soothing respite courtesy of a finger of grassy okra and a splodge of sheep’s milk yoghurt. The wagyu beef shawarma kebab boasts tender meat balanced by a hit of heat from harissa and a thin pickled chilli. Salty, smoked garlic sauce seals the deal.
You’ve got to try the Lady Finger for dessert. It’s a golden cylinder of pistachio-filled filo, soaked in honey and scattered with toasty pine nuts. Too sweet? Go for the figs: beneath a soft serve-style piping of tangy yoghurt hides yielding caramelised fruit. Desserts aren’t your thing? Try it anyway. It’s not too sweet, and finishes things off right.
Staff are friendly and jovial, if a little too laid-back with ensuring our plates are cleared. The decor hits all the right buttons – there’s copper and bare brick walls, and decorative holes in the ceiling revealing a raftered attic above. It sort of feels like a petty criminal's hangout with big Renaissance-style paintings on the dishevelled walls for good measures– imagine the Artful Dodger tangling with Ali Baba and his Forty Thieves. Of course, if they were eating food this good, we'd happily turn to a life of crime, too.
91 Glebe Point Rd
|Opening hours:||Tue-Thu 6-11pm; Fri 6pm-midnight; Sat 11am-3pm; 6pm-midnight|