23 Aug Nomada Cafe y Tapas, Fitzroy
Hearts were broken when Hammer & Tong announced it was closing its doors. Their soft shell crab buns would be no more. In its place, Nomada would spring up, coming from the experienced hospitality supergroup of Jesse Gerner (Bomba, Anada, Park Street Dining), Jesse McTavish (The Kettle Black), Michael Burr (Bomba, Chin Chin), Greg McFarland (The Kettle Black) and Shane Barrett (Samuel Pepys). Modern tapas for lunch and dinner? Yes please.
Their signature clacked eggs come nestled on a bed of still-smoking burnt hay. The egg is transformed into a emulsion before being served back in the egg shell, together with an ever-changing range of ingredients. Today’s egg comes with cured trout and tangy hollandaise. The egg pools at the bottom – don’t waste any! The flavour and fragrance is a smokey delight.
The Quail Schnitzel Roll gets a light savoury touch from the crispy, wispy saltbush. The quail is juicy, surrounded by a super crunchy crumb. Torched Ocean Trout comes with poached eggs and a refreshing fennel, orange and beetroot salad. The fish is smooth and supple, coated with a savoury fermented cabbage powder on one side.
The Sauteed Mushrooms sound like a very simple dish, but there’s thoughtfulness to the elements on the plate, and that’s what enables the flavour of the mushrooms to shine. Aside from the cured yolk and fresh curd, the mushrooms are sprinkled over with dehydrated pine mushroom powder, which adds a bit of extra umami.
We certainly had a memorable breakfast at Nomada. There are so many intriguing dishes on the menu that a re-visit seems like a must.