Nomad Restaurant, Surry Hills, Sydney

After a failed attempt at a walk-in (no reservation) dinner at Nomad, I was particularly taken with the glassed-in hanging charcuterie display of smoked & cured carnivorous goodness and knew for my own sake, that I needed to get back there real soon to sample, so I swiftly took matters into my own hands, jumping online later that evening to book ahead.

Nomad is in the heart of Sydney’s Hipsterville, Surry Hills. A warehouse conversion with a warm industrial feel. There’s a lot to take in, but it’s visually exciting and has a vibrant buzz.The table height display of assorted drinking goblets and glasses is particularly pretty and I’m not sure whether seating me directly backing onto the exposed table full of glassware was going to end well – for them or me. Thankfully, my jinx tendencies remained intact and we parted with not a broken glass in sight.

Nomad has a proud house tradition of smoking, curing, pickling  & culturing their own meats, creams, butter, etc. I feel a strong connection to the idea of this, as it is in the tradition of my own childhood – A process that connects families with something ancient learned and shared. Something uniquely owned by that group of people. Humble, wholesome, connected, tasty. A reminder of the good things the past season has unveiled and preserved in time for future enjoyment.

Intrigued by the $66 tasting menu, we explored that option, but decided against it, simply because there was not enough protein based dishes. Like a game of pool, we mixed it up with smalls and bigs (plates, that is).

The charcuterie selection was the first thing ordered and delivered. Growing up with European ancestry, I was charmed, though something a little tart to cut through the very good fattiness would have been handy. I was absolutely gob-smacked by the goodness of the Goats Cheese Churros. It made my heart flutter and I went weak at the knees. Of course, if there is a scallop dish on the menu, I will sniff it out and insist upon it. This one had cauliflower puree, and if scallop and cauliflower were star signs, you would scarce find a more compatible match.

The wedge of haloumi was perfectly subtle, though not a fan of raisins, I could take or leave them. I chose the latter.

On the recommendation of our very lovely waiter, we ordered the chicken and it was worth deviating plan (I mean, who orders chicken when you go out?). The pork was the only dish that really didn’t wow me. It was a little dry and the power of the flavours just didn’t punch out like I had hoped. However, the accompanying cheddar gratin was superb.

Onto desserts and we shared the both the Bunuelos with rose water and cardamom custard and the Daintree Estate Chocolate Cake with Iranian apricot, and the house made crème fraîche. Both wickedly delightful.

With an Australian only wine list, it is a nice way to explore winemakers and their wines you wouldn’t usually be exposed to. At first, a little uncomfortable with the idea that I was restricted to Australian wines, in retrospect it is a lovely homage to all that is good and local.

I’d heard mixed views on Nomad and I was glad to go myself to check it out.

Don’t be deterred by the awkward website navigation for online reservations. On the night, Nomad was stellar. Service was superior, attentive. Food was generous and delicious.


16 Forster Street, Surry Hills

Nomad on Urbanspoon


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