16 Foster St, Surry Hills, Sydney

We arrived . . . for a late lunch on a Wednesday afternoon to celebrate a friend's recent move to Sydney. We had booked ahead but there really wasn't any need – there was more than enough space in the vast dining room, which can seat up to 200. If you're planning a dinner visit, however, bookings are definitely recommended. You can choose from a variety of zones, including sitting around the open kitchen to watch the chefs at work.

Nomad is a restaurant in a converted warehouse serving contemporary Middle Eastern cuisine. Photo / Instagram.
Nomad is a restaurant in a converted warehouse serving contemporary Middle Eastern cuisine. Photo / Instagram.

We chose here because . . .

since we had moved to Sydney two weeks previously, close to a dozen people had recommended Nomad as one of the city's best restaurants.

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Our first impression was . . .something smells delicious. The smoky aroma of a wood-fired stove fills the restaurant.

We started with . . .pickled padron peppers ($12), followed by the zucchini flowers ($26), which came drizzled with truffle honey and laden with freshly grated percorino. Exquisite. You also have to try the house-made haloumi ($27), which is served in a searing hot skillet, alongside deliciously sweet roasted grapes.

According to Nomad, it's the place where fine food, the best Australian wine and great friends come together. Photo / Instagram
According to Nomad, it's the place where fine food, the best Australian wine and great friends come together. Photo / Instagram

The highlight of the night was . . .

the rainbow trout ($42), which is served whole, wrapped in vine leaves and stuffed with sweet and sour eggplant. Rainbow trout is a rare treat for Kiwis as the fish is banned from commercial sale in New Zealand. If you've never had the chance to try it before, Nomad's version is the perfect place to start. Delicious.

Dessert was . . . beyond our reach after we followed our server's suggestion and ordered three sharing plates, plus a main. It was probably one dish too many and as a result, dessert was not happening. But if it had, the orange blossom sundae would certainly have piqued our interest – served with yoghurt sorbet, coconut, caramel and orange blossom granita.

Come here if . . . you want to experience some of Australia's freshest produce, prepared by people who are as serious about flavour as they are about sustainability. It's by no means the most affordable meal in the city but if you're prepared to pay for seriously good food, you won't be disappointed.

The bill . . .

Was just over A$200 for three sharing plates, a main and a bottle of pinot gris.