Nomad: Christine Manfield's pop-up for the launch of Dessert Divas

Fans of Australian chef and culinary ambassador Christine Manfield revel in delight as the Ex-Universal Chef strings together a collaboration with Nomad and her newest release 'Dessert Divas' for a 4 day short pop-up event from the 29th to the 1st Nov. Upon hearing of the jovial news, I was quick to make my reservations at the restaurant for lunch, promises of ample sunlight (for photography) and unceasing opportunities to throw star-gazed looks at the dessert section drawing me in.

Despite my one-track minded driving force, Nomad has always been on my lists of places to try in Sydney for it's Modern Australian cuisine with a Mediterranean flair. If you, like me, enjoy sharing your dishes, then this establishment is a perfect venue for plate shifting, spoon dipping, generous allocation of delicious resources, encouraged ever so slightly by the large hallways and convivial atmosphere in the room. Service staff are good humoured and polished, even the kitchen staff; restrained and silent through their purposeful motions during service. No debacles, nor meltdowns.

Our appetiser order of Arabic Beef Tartare with potato chips ($21) saunters its way to the table; served ingloriously in a large steel kitchen bowl, flaunting a D-I-Y concept, the components are fastidiously plopped into position, chips on the side and a bottle of hot sauce at our disposal. Coming across as a knockoff, we mixed in the lot with malcontent, questioning the contribution of the dollop of hummus and adding a heavy splash of hot sauce to up to rev up its spiritless structure.

Then came the 50 minute wait where we debated the likeliness of our fresh lobsters being flung up from the ocean and the hurried butchery of a baby lamb for its prized ribs. The wait was long and tedious, the impatient look on my partner's face evolving from pure annoyance to somewhat of a killer stare. The cajoling from the waitresses passing through our table doing nothing to ease the tension.

Finally, relief came in the form of a Lobster Roll ($18), and thankfully a rather excellent one too. Chunks of sweet lobster flesh came swathed in a creamy vibrant sauce that was just spicy enough with a good refreshing sharpness; the addition of harissa and coriander pushing it to Middle-Eastern boundaries. The buns were just the right amount of spongy and buttery, though the predominance of bland ice burg lettuce leaves a lot to be desired. 

Being a greedy carnivore, the BBQ lamb ribs ($32) appealed to me. It fashioned its way to the table, cloaked in a shimmery sweet quince glaze and showered with sesame seeds, flanked by a rather unsightly piping of Nomad yogurt; to be frank, it literally looked like the animal took a shit in our backyard. Inspite of its amateurish presentation, it's flavor presides it's illusion. The fatty richness of the meat causing my lips to be slippery, the conjugal bliss of burnt sugar with the gaminess of the lamb working wonders. Smear a bit of the tangy yogurt on the protein for a refreshing combination. Slowly but surely, the anger fades to grey.

Then came the highlight of the meal, Christine's renowned Gaytime goes Nuts ($20). We love how the chocolate wafer collar, beautifully crisp and acting with the discipline of a corset on a well-bossomed lady breaks like a blissful sigh when tapped, its jewel like innards tumbling out seductively onto the plate.Caramel Ice cream, honey nougat crunch, salted hazelnut caramel and Haz chocolate mousse, the play on textures throughout the dessert was uncanny. The little surprise injections of salt, elevating the dish pass the cliched combination of chocolate and hazelnut.

Suddenly, the storms had cleared and all was fine and dandy...till we were presented the wrong bill. (Cues..'No, you didn't). Did someone say 3 pax? Now I wished I had brought an extra friend to split the bill. Just my luck.

16 Foster Street
Surry Hills
NSW 2010
t: +61 2 9280 3395

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  1. OMG I think I'll swoon for that Gaytime goes nuts!

    1. too late babe.. the dessert divas have moved on... next best thing is to purchase the recipe book and recreate it! haha.



Meet Sihan

Snap Eat Love is Lee Sihan. 27 going on 28, she is a dessert enthusiast, food nomad, wanderer of lands and a pastry chef currently working in Sydney. Fueled by a lifelong addiction to all things sweet, and a burning desire to travel the globe follow her as she embarks on delicious escapades both in and out of the kitchen

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