It’s not clear what category Thiq fits into. There are private booths and dining tables with linen napkins, but also a snack-focused bar menu, dim lighting and pumping disco. But there are no bar stools, and no one is dancing.

“It's in-between. You don't necessarily have to eat and drink. You can [just do one],” says Claire Kwon, the owner. “I wanted to bring the bar and eatery scene to the lower north shore. There's a lack of variety of venues. The venues here have been around for years … they're real institutions.”

If you’re there for a drink, try a Slow with Woodford reserve, Laphroaig and ginger wine, or an Against-the-Wall with smoked run, Chambord and pineapple. Bar snacks are either fancy – like the ocean charcuterie board (cured salmon, octopus and a salted roe cream) or the Hokkaido scallops with celeriac puree – or junky, such as the thick-battered, za’atar-spiced fried chicken or the pastrami burger. “I'd say that's our specialty. We make the pastrami ourselves. We've tweaked the traditional recipe, added some spices and, instead of cutting it really thin, we cut it thick,” says Kwon.

If you’re having dinner start with one of the rotating bottled beers and share chef Berron Kim’s (ex-Devon and Lucky Suzie) house-made gnocchi with burnt butter, cheddar, mushrooms and sage dust; and a whole roast eggplant with walnut Romesco. This is best done outside because, despite the current cold snap, that’s where you’ll best compete with Thiq’s soundtrack.

Even beyond the bar-restaurant confusion there’s a lot of different flavours and ideas going on. Even more so when you see Thiq runs a brunch service serving salmon pastrami and slow-cooked eggs; a Persian big breakfast; fried eggs over polenta; and Bloody Marys.

1/128 Military Road, Neutral Bay, entrance via Grosvenor Lane
(02) 9904 9956

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