There was a part of me that was thinking ‘Ok, yet another restaurant to jump on the small sharing plates bandwagon’, a concept which seems to be all the trend from London to Singapore…and apparently Australia too. However, Nomad restaurant in buzzy Surry Hills in Sydney came highly recommended by a friend (who I trust when it comes to food) so I thought I should give it a go. I was really pleasantly surprised.
Taking a cue from AA Gill’s famous newspaper column, I had dinner with The Blonde last night (in this instance my college friend and not my lover) and we thoroughly enjoyed sharing our small plates (and a delicious bottle of Australian Pinot Grigio).
Firstly an admission/apology; we were so busy chatting (and were starving) that we devoured all of the beef tartare (soft & flavourful studded with texture
from wild rice, heat & sharpness from spiced radish, and with puffed beef tendons to scoop
it up, delicious) the entire plate of zuchini flowers with pecorino and truffle honey (hot and crisp and salty and sweet) and half of our dish of kingfish ceviche… before I remembered to take any pictures. So all I got was this snap of our half eaten plate of ceviche from our first round of dishes. It was beautiful before we got our forks in there. And tasty too – with avocado mousse and coriander crackers, a bit like nacho chips but tastier.
Then our slightly-larger-but-still-small plates arrived. We went for snapper, and a veg dish (definitely not a side dish) of peas. Let me expand. The snapper was a perfectly cooked soft piece of fish, with crispy seasoned skin, atop asparagus with just the right amount of crunch, in a sauce of ajo blanco (garlic soup, way tastier than it sounds) and chilli oil. My only criticism was that the ajo blanco was not hot – I don’t think it is supposed to be but that then makes the whole dish a bit tepid. The peas were as peas should be, lovely and sweet and really tasting like pea (weird i know, but some dont), and were served with loads of fresh herbs, sprinkled with za’atar (a mixture of dried middle eastern herbs; thyme, sumac and sesame seeds) and studded with pieces of shanklish (a Lebanese cheese) which added a delightful sharp salty tang.
We loved sharing all our small plates, and we quite frankly could have eaten the entire menu – all of it sounded amazing – a really inventive combination of seasonal Australian ingredients with a Mediterranean twist and influence. It was a shame we could only order 5 (the plates are small, but not that small). Lucky The Blonde is decisive.
Nomad, 16 Foster Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia