Nomada is a collaboration between five hospitality veterans: chef Jesse McTavish (The Kettle Black; another Jesse, this one Gerner (chef and owner at Bomba, Anada and Green Park); Michael Burr (also of Bomba); Greg McFarland (ex-chef at The Kettle Black); and Shane Barrett (Samuel Pepys).
The 50-seat space has a hand-pressed tile bar, Scando furniture, hand-stitched leather upholstery and the occasional bit of (fake) fur. Picture’s of McTavish’s dad rocking a bus-sized longboard hang on a denim-coloured wall. It feels warm and lived in.
Gerner and McTavish continue to raid the night-time-dining pantry for things to bring to breakfast. This time they’re doing tapas. Nomada’s about fermentation, dehydration, water-baths, vacuum-packs, compression and curing, with a bit of wood smoke.
Ceviche, for instance, is vacuum-sealed to order. Almonds are pressed in-house, and their milk is heated overnight to make a cultured yoghurt. Anchovies are caught off Lake’s Entrance and cured especially for the restaurant. Cabbages are fermented then dehydrated and ground into a salt substitute. Olives are aged in hessian sacks for two weeks and used for a similar purpose. The avocado remains, defiantly, unsmashed.
There’s a pumpkin porridge laced with Catalonian flavours of cinnamon and orange. Below the oats are sultana grapes, dehydrated during this summer’s harvest, then plumped up in a bath of pure Pedro Ximenez. On top is a crumble of those pressed almonds, made savoury and a little salty, which contrasts with a smoky dash of maple.
There are sherries on the drinks list and wines are from both old-world and new, such as the Henty Farm Riesling and the Azul y Garanza Garnacha. And Capitol Coffee brewing.