Sometimes, not everything goes to plan and you just have to resort to Plan B but it’s the best feeling when other options turn out to be beyond expectations and that’s just what happened when K and I were turned down by a fully booked restaurant one night for dinner. After exploring a few options, we called Nomad Restaurant to reserve seats for two just ten minutes before expected time of arrival. Their only availability was at the counter near the kitchen, which is always the best seat for foodies anyway.
Being a big fan of Rockpool myself, I was confident that I would enjoy chef Nathan Sasi’s food, who was trained at Rockpool. We already had dessert planned for the night so we were trying hard trying to control the number of dishes we ordered. There were so many tempting dishes on the menu and took us a while to decide to share between us two small dishes, a large dish and a salad.
The first dish to arrive was the BBQ wagyu tongue served with mojo verde ($16). I only learnt after that this was one of Nomad’s signature dishes and I could totally understand why. The wagyu tongue were soaked in sweet and sour sauce, then sliced very thinly and chargrilled until the edges were crispy but inside remained soft. Jalepeno in the mojo verde provided a kick of heat and lifted the dish to another level. Definitely recommend ordering this one.
We were surprised that the next dish to arrive was our Moreton Bay Bugs ($37) as we were still waiting for our other small dish but I was too distracted by the bay bugs to enquire about our missing dish. Served in light chilli oil, smoked pork jowl and crispy espelette pepper ($37), the bugs were beautifully cooked with the centre being still slightly translucent. The chilli oil was flavourful and we happily soaked it all up with the house made woodfired sourdough that our waiter offered us. The only downside would be that I felt guilty from eating the lardo.
I felt slightly healthier as our blood orange and fennel salad ($18) arrived. I thought the harissa dressing was a bit overpowering and detracted the freshness of the salad but I enjoyed the added sweetness from the dates.
Before finally deciding, we were tossing between the Arabic beef tartare and the foie gras and chicken liver parfait as our second small dish. After finishing all the first three dishes, we enquired about our missing dish, to which the waiter was apologetic for forgetting it. The pro of sitting at the kitchen counter is that you are able to witness all the dishes that come out of the kitchen, and because so many diners ordered the foie gras and chicken liver parfait , we asked the waiter if we could change our order to which he happily did so and commented that it was his favourite dish (should’ve told us earlier so we didn’t have to spend so long deciding).
Then our much anticipated foie gras and chicken liver parfait ($26) finally arrived and I’m so glad we changed our order! The parfait was smooth and rich but not overly gamey, possibly due to the chicken liver which made the flavour more mild. The radish and Iranian plum jam helped to cut through the richness which enabled us to smother a lot of parfait on the grilled sourdough that came with the dish.
To be honest, the meal at Nomad Restaurant would not have been as memorable if it wasn’t for the last dish of liver parfait – it totally made our night!
When things don’t go according to plan, think of the next option and you may be pleasantly surprised just like how we were with Nomad Restaurant.