Thiq Bar has arrived and it is bringing a hint of modern NYC to the North.
Hidden one street back from the main thoroughfare in Neutral Bay is the newly opened Thiq Bar and Eatery. As we pass the front threshold, the weeknight crowd at this half bar, half restaurant is buzzing.
A mixture of seating sprawls throughout the expansive dining room, made more intimate by dim lighting. Nestled comfortably at the back of the room, the kitchen is non-evasive. Near the open bar, where manager Clare Kwon is busy crafting cocktails worthy of Insta-fame, we take a seat at the tightly packed yet comfortable bar tables. The smorgasbord of seating options serves as a reminder that Thiq is determined not to be boxed into one category.
Renowned for his eclectic fusion creations in the East as Head Chef at Devon Cafe, Berron Kim has crafted a dinner menu inspired by late night New York hideaways and the disco tunes that fill the space.
A truly globalised mixture of small and large share plates, we begin our restaurant/bar experience with the Salmon & Kiss ($19). Cured in house, the strips of salmon are dulcetly creamy. The bitter peck of kiss peppers matched with light segments of plum are refreshingly aided by the inclusion of the mint, that proves to be more than a decoration. The small plate is a tempting way to commence the evening at Thiq.
Ready for a real taste of modern NYC, we can’t resist the specialty list of cocktails. The nine cocktails provide enough scope to satisfy any liquor lover. For those who like to be reminded that they are in fact drinking, go for the Slow ($20). A hearty blend of Bourbon whisky, ginger wine and Laphroaigh 10, with a pop of ginger candy, this tumbler is sure to slow down the senses. However, the sweet ginger kick perfectly compliments the creamy small plate we share it with.
If you love a spectacle, then the Empire ($18) is for you. Luminously purple, a tall glass of Creme de Violettes and vodka, topped with mascarpone gelato, the visual delight is reminiscent of a childhood Spider. Despite the reserved lavender after taste, this sweet concoction is a memorable kid-free affair.
Hankering for more, our first large plate arrives. Cooked over four hours, the Slow Octopus ($26) is elevated to lofty heights by tangy coriander chimichurri. The texture of the octopus is complex, both chewy and tender. The bed of crispy Kipfler potatoes compliments each intricate mouthful.
Satisfied with our first foray with potatoes at Thiq, we barely hesitate and order the Crispy Duck-Fat Chips ($12). Drizzled in Kombu salt, another subtle nod to chef Kim’s time at Devon, with a large side serve of Japanese mayonnaise, we munch on these addictive creations for the remainder of the evening.
Following our meaty cravings, its time for the Hot Pastrami Burger ($19). Surrounded by a sweet milk bun, every bite of smoked pastrami is made all the more glorious by streams of Gruyere cheese. Attempting to escape our clutches with every mouthful, it’s worth attacking this inventive burger with a knife and fork to make the most of the tangy dipping jus.
With our foodie feast ending on a filling high, we decide to soak up the wannabe NYC cool radiating from Thiq. Gifted with another round of cocktails, we sample the Slay, a refreshing combination of Hendricks Gin, lychee liquor and Prosecco. However, layered with a Digestif biscuit crumble, the Schrodinger ($19), is the best way to compensate for our lack of dessert. A sweet surprise of Butterscotch Schnapps and Creme de Mure, it is the perfect way to end our night in Neutral Bay.
If you venture to the North for brunch, why not drop into Thiq for a house baked squid ink bagel with cured salmon pastrami ($19), or “The Good Ol’Brekkie” ($20) with everything you could hope for?
Hinting at menu changes in the future, Thiq has brought a taste of the other side of the Bridge to the North. A creative menu and tantalisingly modern atmosphere is just what Neutral Bay needs.
Thiq Bar and Eatery
1/128 Military Rd, Neutral Bay
Open: Tues-Wed: 6am-10pm, Thurs-Fri: 11am–3pm, 6pm–late, Sat-Sun: 8am-2.30pm, 6pm-late