Following a fire, the NOMAD team have relocated to 85 Commonwealth Street while they rebuild
Rising from the ashes, Surry Hills restaurant NOMAD opened the doors to its temporary location last week. Truly a baptism of fire, the Surry Hills restaurant was driven to make the best of a bad situation following the recent electrical fire at its Foster Street home. Embracing their name, the NOMAD team wandered up the road to 85 Commonwealth Street (a space previously occupied by Longrain and Restaurant Orana’s Sydney residency) while they rebuild.
Diners can expect the NOMAD style: a light-filled warehouse fit-out with high ceilings and an open kitchen, signature Mediterranean-inspired flavours, an amazing wine list and friendly but professional service. But NOMAD Up The Road has also forged its own identity, both with its new space and new menu. The walls of the 140-seat restaurant feature new pieces from some of NOMAD’s favourite Australian artists – Julian Meagher, Otis Carey and Max Berry – all of which will be available for sale at the conclusion of the residency.
Thankfully undamaged in the fire, the restaurant’s beloved CJ Hendry artwork has also made the temporary move to bring the team a little piece of home. Co-owner and ex-interior architect Rebecca Yazbek has redesigned the space with a fresh, white interior to make the artwork pop, while also reconditioning the tables and chairs from NOMAD to give them a modern, new look.
“Hopefully it feels like a lighter and brighter version of home,” says Yazbek. “We’re thankful that the bones of the old Longrain site have the beauty of an old Surry Hills warehouse and we still have a central kitchen and kitchen counter seating to work with. Longrain was where Al [husband and co-owner] and I had our first date so the space still feels special, familiar and a little bit like us.”
Head Chef Jacqui Challinor has created a custom menu for the space, featuring both old and new. Notable dishes such as the kingfish ceviche, zucchini flowers and olive oil ice-cream sandwich have all made the journey. The cannellini bean hummus with cumin burnt butter has also come along for the ride, however, due to the absence of NOMAD’s signature wood-fired oven, the accompanying flatbread has gone from the fire to the plancha with Challinor commenting, “I almost hate to say it, but I actually prefer this version”. Other brand new dishes to look forward to include a potted mud crab with piment d’espelette butter, migas and chips, ricotta dumplings with shiitake and olive oil and salted kingfish croquettes with XO and finger lime.
Lamb shoulder, toum, chilli, lemon
Ricotta dumplings, shiitake, olive oil
“New home, new menu,” says Challinor. “The move has given me a clean slate to play around with some new ideas that I’ve had for a while and I’m excited to share the new dishes on the NOMAD Up The Road menu. I may not have my wood-fired oven, but nothing has changed about the way I love to cook, so the new menu is still all about big, bold flavours, generosity and good, honest cooking.”
The Nomads have found a new home and are very much looking forward to welcoming friends, old and new, from now until they return to Foster Street in early 2020. Reservations are available for lunch and dinner six days a week from Monday to Saturday at nomadwine.com.au, including the popular bottomless rosé every Saturday from midday.
NOMAD Up The Road
Phone: (02) 9280 3395
Images: Petrina Tinslay