Last week I was extremely fortunate to experience one of the most delicious and awe-inspiring meals I have had the pleasure of being treated too in a long time. Nomad is a cellar door tucked away in the streets of Surry Hills where,
“the food and wine showcase the best local produce grown and raised by Australian farmers, grape growers and wine makers.”
Nomad’s menu draws on the flavours of the Mediterranean using local Australian ingredients to create a dynamic and seasonally driven menu. This Euro-Oceanian mix is reflected in the interior design. There is a raw feel about this uber trendy restaurant; the bar top that surrounds the open kitchen is made of bare olive wood. The walls remain undressed with the pipework and wiring on show. An open fire pit and woodfired oven take centre stage, as chefs busy themselves stoking the coals under the prime beef grilling above.
As soon as I walked in I was excited. This place has a buzz about it, an air of the seriously cool in a ‘not-trying-to-be-cool’ kinda way! A feeling I found harder and harder to emulate with each dish served. Ok, I know you’re dying to know what we ate and drank. Well here it is…
With the fear we would miss any of the delicious flavours we ordered pretty much everything on the menu.
To start, we shared hommus with pickled chilli and the softest flatbread known to man, alongside, what turned out to be my favourite dish of them all, churros and goats cheese dip (I pity the fool who doesn’t order these).
These were followed by smoked eel croquettes, served with avruga and horseradish, and an ocean trout tartare, served with pickled & Smoked eggplant (aubergine) and squid ink. Next, something entirely new for me; Moretan Bay Bugs. Sound alarming don’t they! Well before you ask no these are not real bugs. Imagine if a lobster and a langoustine had a baby, and this baby had a slightly bigger tail than a crayfish! They are ugly little creatures god bless them but my gosh are they tasty and considered quite the delicacy. Ours came with a dusting of house-smoked bacon and prawn mayo. Already filling up quite fast we realised that we had only experienced the smaller plates – had we over ordered?!! We took five (not glasses of wine) and let our tummies settle before round two.
After five incredibly quick minutes we moved on to the BBQ calamari (a work of art) and Cone Bay Barramundi. Then, the daddy of all dishes. In the red corner, weighing in at 1kg, the tastiest, the most succulent, rarest of them all; the finest example of prime Australian BBQ’d T-bone.
Calling all meat lovers on the planet – this is your time to drool on your screen!
As if this wasn’t enough (and I told you we ordered almost everything), we had the BBQ’d cauliflower, tabbouleh of toasted grains and pork fat spuds on the side. The toasted grains being the highlight.
We shared the caramelised Banana served in kataifi nests with hazelnut and salted Caramel, and the Valrhona Chocolate; a velvety decadent chocolate mousse cake thing(!) with coconut and coconut Cream.Now here’s where I owe you an apology, the desserts vanished so fast there was no chance to take a snap.
Now as you can imagine this lengthy, indulgent flavour marathon in an inner0city cellar door was washed down with some of the most exquisite wine I have been lucky enough to try. To accompany the first courses the Adelaidean among us chose (a few bottles of) the 2014 UNICO ZELO ‘ESOTERICO’. A blend of Natural Fiano, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat d’Alessandria form the Adelaide Hills. The steak deserved a note change to the 2011 LA VIOLETTA ‘UP’; a Shiraz from Great Southern, WA. All served in designer glassware from Tasmania, obviously.
There you have it, for any of you that is like me where food and flavours are one of your greatest passions, get yourselves down to Nomad.
Unlike the name suggests, Nomad may be wandering through the Mediterranean and Australian culinary landscapes but it is definitely not lost.