Thirsty Tiger is the upstairs counterpart to disco-diner 99 Gang Social. Co-owner Morgen Wynn-Hadinata designed the space herself (her first fit-out), mixing American-diner and Caribbean influences with a blue-and-white colour scheme, wooden panelling, a speckled tiled floor, hanging plants and a disco ball. The red and white tiger-print bar – painted by mural artist Alex Bellas – matches the colour scheme downstairs and ties the two spaces together.
The menu stays true to the pan-Asian and California-inspired through-line found downstairs (and at the duo’s Parkside eatery), but with a bigger emphasis on shared dishes. There might be grilled chicken salad served ceviche-style with charred corn, cucumber, lime juice, coriander and house-made tostadas; cream cheese and chive wontons; panko-fried barramundi tacos; or buttermilk-fried chicken tenders dipped in hot honey and served with kimchi and fries.
Larger items might include a Wagyu steak with miso butter, and ramen noodles with buttery garlic confit, egg yolk and parmesan. A tight edit of the burger selection downstairs is available here – in slider form (which is excellent justification to order two).
As at 99 Gang Social, cocktails are king here – from tropical numbers like Mango Daiquiris, Banana Coladas and Passionfruit Caipirinhas, to a classic Negroni Spagliato, to signatures including a Bloody Mary with wasabi-infused vodka; a pho-inspired creation with lime, chilli and coriander; and a matcha cocktail with makrut lime gin, coconut syrup, white chocolate liqueur and vanilla.
To aid the party vibe, there’s a selection of shooters, and a slushie machine with rotating cocktails (plus the house and funk coming from the DJ booth). There are also a few sakes and Japanese beers (combine the two for a “sake bomb”), plus local and international lo-fi wines, in contrast to the South Australian focus downstairs.
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