In 2019, a kitchen fire forced popular Surry Hills diner Nomad to depart its Foster Street space. Since then it’s endured a temporary venue change (due to the fire and associated insurance issues) and the coronavirus lockdown. But in November 2020, Nomad finally returned home.
To anyone who frequented Nomad pre-fire, the space will feel familiar. The light-wood furniture and pared-back decor remains, with the addition of banquette seating in hunter-green leather. The woodfired oven, charcoal grill and kitchen counter are also there – but now they’re twice the size. The 30-seat counter is the best spot in the house to witness chef Jacqui Challinor’s return to charcoal.
The menu has been totally reimagined, although some favourites remain. Longtime fans will be pleased to hear that the inventive house charcuterie – ranging from ocean trout basturma to duck mortadella – isn’t going anywhere.
In the kitchen, Challinor might be plating up Murray cod with sweet corn and saffron butter; a charcoal-fired rib eye; and wood-roasted eggplant. For dessert, it might be the olive-oil ice-cream sandwich with sesame, pistachio and honeycomb.