It’s been a little while since I last ventured out to Glebe for a meal (all the late night coffees and desserts at Brewristas don’t count), but we were keen to try the playfully named Thievery, run by the team behind one of our favourite food trucks, Eat Art Truck.
The darkly lit eatery thankfully has a second level, as there’s not much seating downstairs and it’s fully booked on the Saturday night we walked in for dinner. Up the rickety stairs you’ll see the Arabic graffiti on the wall and the accidentally on purpose holes left in the ceiling to give the place an authentic thieves’ lair vibe, while paying homage to the Middle Eastern fare on the menu.
The meal starts with a free dish of Lupin Beans which are similar to edamame in that you can’t eat the skin and just pop them out. I loved their Wet Rose cocktail which features a tea infused vodka, cloudy apple juice, rosewater, lime and pomegranate liqueur. These elements blend together to create a lovely, floral cocktail that is so refreshing without being overly sweet.
Wet Rose, $16
We got onto the appetisers to share with the Baba Ghanoush, a flavoursome rendition of the classic cooked eggplant dip with pinenuts, sheep’s milk yoghurt which we dunked strips of flatbread in.
Baba Ghanoush, $12
The LFC (Lebanese Fried Chicken) was an intriguing twist on the better known fried chicken of Korea (a.k.a. KFC), with appropriately addictive pieces of battered chicken paired with a dollop of pitch black squid ink toum. The sauce looked deceptively intense, but wasn’t actually very strongly flavoured – I couldn’t really detect the garlicky flavours that you’d expect in a toum, as it was slightly masked by the sea-saltiness of the squid ink.
Next we had the Fried Cauliflower Fattoush, which was a light salad of mixed greens with fried bread shards scattered throughout – despite the name of the dish, there weren’t that many fried cauliflower pieces detectable in the dish. Compared to some of the other more winning dishes on the menu, this salad was fairly underwhelming for the price.
Fried Cauliflower Fattoush, $15
We were impressed by the trio of kebabs we picked, with the Falafel being the surprise hit filling (I’m not usually partial to vegetarian dishes if there’s meat on the menu) – perfectly deep fried balls of tasty chickpeas with a fantastic tahini yoghurt, all wrapped up in 2 mini pitas which made it much easier to share.
Falafel Kebab, $14 and Malek Samke Hara, $14
We were most interested in the Malek Samke Hara, which was the chilli snapper filling offered for the kebab, where the fish is baked in a tahini sauce and cayenne pepper and served on the pita with almonds. It was an interesting dish, but I found the acidic and spiciness of the dish too overwhelming compared to the more balanced flavours in the other 2 kebabs. We also enjoyed the Wagyu Beef Shawarma, which featured chewy cubes of meat with a creamy smear of smoked garlic and harissa to spice things up in the flavour stakes.
Wagyu Beef Shawarma, $14
We had one more kebab to round off the meal, but this was no ordinary kebab – think bright pink rose fairy floss sitting atop a bed of chocolate ice cream and a pita bread base with a sprinkle of chocolate pearls on the side. The fairy floss had plenty of rosewater notes and the chocolate ice cream was pretty rich too – but visually, this is definitely one of the most photogenic desserts we’ve ever seen and such a fun sweet treat!
Ice cream Kebab, $8
The modern Middle Eastern dining at Thievery is proving to be a hit with Sydney-siders and it’s not hard to see why, with contemporary twists on all the classics and a cheeky, playful vibe which carries through the decor and the menu. Overall, it’s decent value for casual dining and I’d come back just for the dessert and cocktails!