Just Open: Nomad Melbourne welcomes guests to Flinders Lane, at last

Inside the newly opened Nomad Melbourne on Flinders Lane, a four-year project finally realised.
Inside the newly opened Nomad Melbourne on Flinders Lane, a four-year project finally realised. Photo: Sharyn Cairns

The wood-fired oven is finally alight at Nomad's Melbourne location and guests are enjoying the earthy tones of the updated Ezard space, as one of the city's most prolonged restaurant openings has finally come to fruition.

A Sydney export, Nomad's southern outpost on Flinders Lane is taking the DNA of executive chef Jacqui Challinor's original menus - generous flavour, wood-fired cooking, house-made everything - and applying it to Victoria's bounty of produce, whether that's Western Plains pork, David Blackmore wagyu or Stone & Crow cheese.

"That's the bit that I love: setting up new relationships with farmers, producers and growers," Challinor tells Good Food. "That's one of my favourite things about what I do."

Burrata with fennel jam joins dishes like smoked mussels with toum and hashbrown in the Middle East-meets-Med menu.
Burrata with fennel jam joins dishes like smoked mussels with toum and hashbrown in the Middle East-meets-Med menu. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

The four-year project by owners Al and Rebecca Yazbek to bring Nomad to Melbourne has survived 20 months of lockdowns in both New South Wales and Victoria, several false alarms on a site, and distractions like a fire at the original Sydney venue that forced that restaurant to relocate temporarily.

But now head chef Brendan Katich, an Ezard and Gingerboy alumnus, has the kitchen up and running in Melbourne, overseeing a menu that stretches from a plate of house charcuterie to Murray cod with vine leaf, spring vegetables and Mornington Peninsula saffron butter.

Toum, zhoug, halva and more bring a Middle Eastern accent that's joined by a chorus of Mediterranean flavours, as seen in burrata with fennel jam, or smoked mussels with espelette pepper, toum and hashbrown.

Wines straddle the approachable and power-lunch categories, while beers celebrate Victorian brewers and cocktails feature plenty of Australian spirits.

Clare Cousins Architects designed the minimal space, with grey tiling and walls offset by timber furniture, leather and fresh flowers across the 100-seat venue.

Open for dinner Tues-Sat 5pm-9pm; lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm & Sun noon-3pm

187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, (03) 8419 2800, nomad.melbourne