In a city with a multitude of Lebanese restaurants, from kebab stores to home-cooking-style eateries, it pays to do something different. The owners behind new contemporary Arabic restaurant and bar Thievery (and food truck Eat Art Truck) are walking to the beat of their own drum. “We always wanted to do something with Middle Eastern and Lebanese food,” says co-owner Mo Moubayed. He wants to make the cuisine fun and adventurous – and take it to the next level.
With contemporary creations such as hummus with burnt butter; Lebanese fried chicken with squid-ink toum (garlic paste); fatoush with fried cauliflower; and kingfish nayyeh, Thievery turns what’s expected of this fare on its head.
It all happens inside a two-level industrial-style Aladdin’s cave, complete with holes in the ceilings and walls, tables made out of doors, chandeliers hanging in the roof cavities and not a belly dancer in sight. “We’re having fun with the fit-out, it’s a little bit dangerous and that’s what we’re trying to do with the food as well,” says Moubayed.
Moubayed says the drinks menu is the real star of the show. “Our drinks showcase orange blossom, rose water, candied dates and pomegranate, which are all beautiful flavours and work really well in cocktails,” he says. With an open-plan bar (there is nothing to separate the staff from the customers), the bar staff becomes a part of the experience, mixing cocktails at your table.
While the majority of the dishes are Lebanese inspired, Moubayed says there are influences from other Arab cuisines. “We do have a Yemeni hot sauce on the tables called zhug, which takes us about three months to make. A lot of the influences cross over from country to country,” he says.
91 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
(02) 8283 1329
Tue to Thu 6pm–11pm
Sat 11am–3pm, 6pm–midnight