The former Spence & Lyda furniture showroom has been converted into a vast and varied dining space, welcoming Nomad restaurant and wine bar as its latest tenant. Polished concrete and high ceilings create a warehouse atmosphere in the early 20th century building, warmed up with earthen accents and timber finishes throughout.
Rebecca Littlemore and her partner, former Toko owner Al Yazbek, wanted to recreate the experience of visiting regional cellar doors and restaurants in the heart of Sydney. “We’d go to wine country every chance we got and come back trying find places reminiscent of that atmosphere,” says Littlemore. “We have a love of produce and the land, and everything that’s beautiful about wine country.”
Littlemore and Nomad’s in-house master of wine Rob Geddes tasted 500 drops to come up with their wine list. “Australia is producing some of the best wines in the world, so to try and get it down was a task,” she says. Rotating menus aim to showcase that breadth and depth, with 20 choices of reds and 20 whites on offer at any time.
Local seasonal produce and traditional culinary skills form the focus of the kitchen team, creating house-made breads, cheeses and cured meats. Brightly coloured pickled cucumber, cauliflower and carrots line benches and shelves throughout the dining room, while a glass case next to the open wine room is dedicated to charcuterie. Seat yourself on a bar stool at the central kitchen to watch chefs slice the signature charcuterie platter to order, serving little piles of chorizo, mortadella and pancetta on a rustic tree trunk round.
“Nathan has a real passion for looking back at forgotten skills of the kitchen and recreating things from scratch,” Littlemore says of head chef Nathan Sasi, who recently wrapped up at Dinner, Heston Blumenthal’s London restaurant. “There’s this real learning culture in the kitchen.”
16 Foster Street, Surry Hills
(02) 9280 3395
Mon - Fri, 12pm to 3pm
Mon - Sat, 6pm to midnight