Tonight I took myself on a rather lovely date to Nomad Sydney. To begin with, it always excites me to see a kitchen with an open charcoal grill. There’s a certain magic and flavour that charcoal cooking imparts that is just impossible to imitate in any other way.
It’s always hard when eating alone at a sharing style venue because you want to eat everything, but you can’t. Nonetheless I made a valiant effort…
Initially I thought these were on the pricy side for zucchini flowers, but I was pleasantly surprised by the generous serve. They came completely laden with pecorino, and the truffle honey is pleasant and subtle. The flowers themselves were ultra crispy under their cheesy blanket.
My next dish was a smoked brisket empanada, which had a sweet smokey aroma, with a more savoury flavour when initially tasted. The pulled brisket is wrapped in a rich crumbly almost shortcrust style pastry. The empanada is served with a house made hot sauce which smells red and piquant, but tastes surprisingly green. It has a bit of a kick and when added to the pastry, really brings out the sweetness in the brisket that was previously smelt.
Next was the spanner crab croquette. Small in appearance but big in flavour, this dish was rich and creamy with a taste of the sea that lingers and grows in the mouth, yet is also fresh and has hints of citrus.
My final dish was the house made haloumi with wood roasted heirloom tomatoes. This was such a simple but incredible dish, and probably my favourite of the night. The tomatoes are rich and intensely flavourful with a subtle smokey smell. The house made haloumi is incredible, and cutting through the crisp top it just oozes and stretches apart in the most heavenly way. I also really enjoyed the fresh herbs, which included the largest flat leaf parsley I’ve ever seen and just explosively flavourful fresh oregano. Did you know that dry oregano in Australia contains mostly filler? A recent scandal report states that some brands are just 11% oregano, which explains the poor flavour… If you haven’t ever tried fresh oregano I highly recommend it. This is a dish that is worthy of pause. Take a moment, savour the smells and tastes, even close your eyes and discover the depths that are possible, but not commonly found in such a seemingly simple dish. Its a testament to quality Australian produce and I’m so glad I decided to try it.
The smokiness in the tomatoes and juice was also brought out beautifully with a small chunk of their sourdough. This is a true sourdough with a dark, slightly bitter crust, made in house with a surprisingly short 3.5 hour rise! I’m told the secret is hand kneading and using 3 different strong yeast cultures – regardless, it works. From what I observed sitting near the pass the brioche they serve looked just as good too.. Mmmm.
And now.. Dessert. The point where you should stop before you explode and resolve to just have something light, at least until you see… This
This valhrona chocolate just glistened. I could almost see my reflection in it. Filled with a chocolate, raspberry and coconut cream and surrounded by chocolate crumb and fresh raspberries with an awfully romantic rose leaf garnish, this dessert is rich, smooth and just overall delicious. It’s quite rich, so you could share it, but I wouldn’t judge you for keeping it all to yourself!! (Admittedly, I couldn’t quite finish it)
Overall I highly recommend Nomad, and will definitely be back on my next trip to Sydney to try some of the dishes that I saw in passing!