Nomad is one of Sydney's best-loved eateries. In June 2020, it's setting up a shop in Melbourne.
“We've been hunting for a site for the past two years,” says Nomad’s Sydney head chef, Jacqui Challinor, who will soon oversee both cities as executive chef. “Flinders Lane is such an iconic strip … We wanted to be right in the heart of it.”
The new long, narrow space, which is attached to a car park, “doesn't look like much at the moment,” Challinor says, but architect Clare Cousins has promised to transform it into a smart 150-seat bar and restaurant. Rebecca Yazbek – who co-owns Nomad along with her husband, Al – will handle the interiors.
At Nomad Sydney, the Yazbeks aimed to recreate for city dwellers the experience of visiting regional cellar doors, but Nomad Melbourne promises something else entirely.
“[We're] very conscious of doing something different,” says Challinor. “[We] didn't want to just pick Nomad Sydney up and drop it into Melbourne. We want to offer something different while still serving the food that we love.”
Sous-chef Sam McCallum will take over Challinor’s current role in Sydney, and she’s on the hunt for a Melbourne head chef to make the menu their own, as well as cultivating relationships with Victorian producers and suppliers.
There’ll be some continuity between the two cities, though, including Mediterranean flavours and even a few signature dishes. The woodfired oven is coming, too. “I wouldn't go anywhere without my [oven],” says Challinor. “Expect a beautiful open kitchen with a big, beautiful hearth in there.
“What I'm about is big flavours, tasty food, generosity and humility, so that's what I intend on bringing down. I don't think that differentiates between states or cities.”
Nomad is set to open at 189 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, in June 2020.