Sydney’s NOMAD restaurant to launch in Melbourne

Mediterranean-inspired restaurant NOMAD will expand and travel down south, opening on Flinders Lane in Melbourne’s CBD in June 2020.

The restaurant will take up residence at 189 Flinders Lane, surrounded by well-known restaurants Supernormal, EZARD and Kisumé.

NOMAD co-owners Al and Rebecca Yazbek have engaged Melbourne-based architect Clare Cousins to work alongside them and transform the narrow retail space into an elegant and moody 150-seat bar and restaurant.

With refined but raw details and a concealed entry, NOMAD Melbourne will forge its own look, feel and menu while maintaining its signature philosophy rooted in exceptional local and small-producer wine, produce and design.

Since opening over six years ago, NOMAD Sydney has been part of the driving force of Surry Hills’ dining scene.

With the recent electrical fire closing its Foster Street home earlier this year, NOMAD set up a temporary home at 85 Commonwealth Street (NOMAD Up the Road), which will now extend into mid-2020.

Over the next six months, the Yazbeks will commute between the states to develop the new venue in Melbourne while rebuilding Sydney’s Foster Street venue.

“2019 has been a big year, to say the least,” Rebecca said. “We’ve been on the lookout for a space in Melbourne for over two years now and have always had our hearts set on opening something around Flinders Lane.

“We could never have anticipated the fire in Sydney and our big move ‘Up the Road’, but we are finally back on track to bring NOMAD to Melbourne, breathe new life into Sydney and enter an exciting new phase for us and the entire NOMAD family.”

NOMAD’s Al Yazbek, Rebecca Yazbek and Jacqui Challinor (credit: Petrina Tinslay)

Jacqui Challinor, currently head chef of Sydney, will move into the position of executive chef across the two restaurants over the coming months.

While Challinor will incorporate NOMAD’s locally sourced produce, house-made bread, charcuterie and cheese and its signature wood-fired oven into the new Melbourne menu, the new venue will be made up of predominantly new dishes to help NOMAD Melbourne build its own identity.

Melbourne’s wine list will follow in the footsteps of its Sydney counterpart and serve an extensive range from the best small growers and producers, distinguishing itself with an increased focus on international wines.

“Having always lived in Sydney, I’m really looking forward to getting down to Melbourne and meeting and working with new suppliers and sourcing new products,” Challinor said.

“Having strong relationships with local suppliers has always been a core part of what we do at NOMAD, so my aim is to get down there and engage with all the Victorian producers to help inspire the Melbourne menu.”

Challinor will move her sous chef, Sam McCallum, into the role of head chef in Sydney while in Melbourne, and will be drawing on the pool of local chefs to form NOMAD Melbourne’s kitchen team.

Feature image credit: Petrina Tinslay