Sydney's hatted Nomad is opening in Melbourne

Chef Jacqui Challinor and Nomad owners Rebecca Yazbek and Al Yazbek.
Chef Jacqui Challinor and Nomad owners Rebecca Yazbek and Al Yazbek. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

Sydney and Melbourne send restaurants each other's way like an endless Nadal and Federer rally. This time it's the Harbour City's turn to send down a volley. Surry Hills' hatted Nomad, a produce-focused offering with some Middle Eastern overtones, has landed a site on Melbourne's Flinders Lane, just near Andrew McConnell's Supernormal.

The bid for sites lasted over two years, according to owner Al Yazbe, who said agents and landlords were less aware of the Sydney outfit.

He finally decided to move to the city with his partner, Rebecca Littlemore, to better make their pitch.

Having landed a former retail space at 189 Flinders Lane, they will begin renovating in February and hope to open the 150 seat restaurant by mid 2020.

The building he moved into in Melbourne to scout sites proved to have a big impact on the design of Nomad Melbourne. "We like the job that local architect Clare Cousins did so much we're using her for the restaurant."

Nomad Sydney's head chef Jacqui Challinor will step into an executive role, overseeing both venues. A local head chef will be recruited closer to opening.

A lamb dish at Nomad's current pop-up in Sydney's former Longrain site.
A lamb dish at Nomad's current pop-up in Sydney's former Longrain site. Photo: Petrina Tinslay

"The food will be slightly different from Sydney but the same shared food concept," says Yazbe. "There will be some crossover, like the zucchini flowers, our kingfish ceviche and the spatchcock, but we'll build the menu around local goods from that."

Flinders Lane has a busy time ahead with the CBD branch of Jackalope Hotel due to become Nomad's neighbour in 2022.

Nomad will be open for lunch and dinner daily from mid-2020 at 189 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.