It's rarely ever easy being the new kid on the block. In this case, the new kid is Nomada Cafe y Tapas and the block is Fitzroy's dining scene. Despite there being plenty of established eateries on said block, Nomada has already managed to stand out from the crowd with a tasty tapas-style brunch menu to be reckoned with.
One of their signature dishes is undoubtedly the clacked egg on burnt hay. The 'egg' itself comes as a dollop of eggy emulsion, a mayo if you like, with accompaniments that vary on a day to day basis; ours came with pine mushrooms, fried bacon and a crumb on the day of our visit. Torched before serving, it's the sensationally fragrant smokiness from the hay and the accompanying ingredients that make the egg dish a winner. Not to mention the utterly beautiful presentation.
The ceviche of seasonal fish was fresh, zesty and tangy; its vibrant flavours worked wonders to awaken the tastebuds. The spice rub on the avocado further enhanced the overall flavour composition while the down to earth flavouring of the cabbage added some balance. The cheesy and creamy filling on the Blue Eye croquettes made them a heavy and indulgent pick for breakfast, but wow, do they make quite the tasty impression! Their golden fried crumb was spot on in texture and crunch. While I'm not the biggest fan of celery, I do love mushrooms, and was quite happy with our order of the seasonal mushrooms with pickled celery, which featured some very fleshy oyster mushrooms. Luckily for me and my dislike of celery, my dining companion was more than happy to eat the celery pieces.
It's never too early for some freshly cooked churros! Nomada's version comes with a coffee sugar coating, although I struggled to pick up even the slightest hint of coffee. The coating was not overly sweet, which I prefer, and those with more of a sweet tooth have the option of slathering it in the chocolate sauce. We also spotted some Portuguese tarts on the sweets/pastries counter coming into the restaurant, and ordered one to share. Similar to the churros, the tart was not overly sweet (huzzah!) and the filling had a gorgeous vanilla presence. The pastry itself was nailed to a T, each bite producing a flaky mess.
If you don't get your fill of their tapas during the day, the eatery is also open for dinner on Fridays to Sundays. I got a taste of some of the dishes offered on their nighttime menu during their launch event and if that and our brunch experience was anything to go by, a return visit for their dinner tapas is a must-do!
Nomada Cafe y Tapas
412 Brunswick St,
Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065.
(03) 9416 4102
Disclosure: I attended the launch event as a guest of Nomada Cafe y Tapas. All opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the times of my visits.