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 contemporary Arabic restaurant and bar Thievery walk to the beat of their own drum. This is Middle Eastern cuisine at its most fun and adventurous.
The menu includes unusual vegetarian dishes such as turmeric baghrir (crumpet) with grape molasses, honey crème fraîche and confit leek; barbequed broccolini with labne, burnt honey and za'atar; and grilled field mushroom with cavolo nero, enoki mushrooms and fermented shiitake mushrooms. Like we said, unusual.
For meat-eaters, there’s a modern take on kibbeh (beef tartare); charry lamb cutlets with sticky medjool dates, sheeps yoghurt and parsley; and the famous LFC – Lebanese fried chicken.
The space is 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.
The drinks menu is something different, too. Cocktails showcase ingredients such as orange blossom, rose water and candied dates. With an open-plan bar (there's 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, there are influences from other Arab cuisines, such as a Yemeni hot sauce on the tables called zhug, which takes three months to make.
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