The Nomads is a new contemporary Central Asian dining concept located along Telok Ayer Street. It features a chic dining area complete with a custom-built grill pit, a speakeasy-style private dining room and thoughtfully crafted menus that bring diners to a gastronomic trail along the Silk Road. Besides the a la carte menu, there are 3 tasting menus and an exclusive private dining room communal menu.
Smoked Herring 4.2/5
For my visit, I had The Odyssey of Fire Tasting Menus ($148) which comprises of 17 courses that highlight a wide range of signatures and seasonal items. The gastronomic journey started with the Smoked Herring. The smoked herring sits inside a delicate filo pastry filled with horseradish mash.
Caviar & Kaya 4/5
A playfully take of the kueh pie tee is the Caviar & Kaya. Housed inside the crispy shell is poached Argentinean prawns and housemade kaya, crowned with glistening beads of Kristal caviar. Pop it inside the mouth to get that perfect burst of sweet and salty flavours.
Lamb Samsa Cones 4.2/5
The Lamb Samsa Cones is a modern take of the lamb samsa, traditionally served in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan as a baked pastry filled with meat. The cone coated with coffee sugar is filled with lamb tartare of fresh Mottainai lamb short loin. A thoughtful creation allowing the sweetness of the coffee sugar to complement the light and naturally sweet meat, plus a little playful touch.
Nomads Nan with Hunter-Gatherers Butter 4.5/5
The Nomads Nan is a traditional Kazakhstan-style bread made using a secret family recipe whereby flour is fermented overnight with yoghurt to intensifies the flavour. This is best enjoyed with the seaweed butter and foie gras butter.
Maitake Mushrooms 3.5/5
You can smell the smokiness of the Maitake Mushrooms from a distance, seasoned with earthy Khmeli Suneli spices and grilled with tahini and sesame seeds.
Carrots in Soil 3.5/5
Bite into the different coloured Carrots in Soil that is sweet and crunchy. The charred heirloom carrots are coated with coffee crumble for a bittersweet finishing.
The Salat is an adaptation of the grilled fruit salad from Kazakhstan. It is light, crispy and fresh that comprises of juicy pears glazed with cherry vinaigrette, seasonal greens and crystallised walnuts, served with anchovy sauce and frozen raspberries.
An interesting combination of koji cured Japanese Scallops, spiced burnt corn and crispy lentil crackers, is the Scallops dish. It is unusual to put the three ingredients together, and they complemented one another excellently.
Squid Laghman 4/5
The Squid Laghman is a native noodle dish from Xinjiang Uyghur. The squid noodles are lightly charcoal kissed to tender. It is paired with capsicum and pine nuts in the hearty bone marrow and Sichuan peppercorn sauce. Hence it is a little bit spicy.
The lean and meaty Sturgeon which tasted like chicken breast is grilled with soy butter emulsion and dill oil and served with crunchy grains.
The Beshbarmak, a national dish of Kazakhstan, is literally translated to "five fingers" because it typically can be eaten with the hands. The modern version at The Nomads finds pieces of tender wagyu cheek in spiced broth, pickled shallots and garlic. On top of that, it replaces the noodles with dehydrated potato sheets.
Beef Tongue 4/5
The Beef Tongue is braised for 48 hours in a master broth until tender with a slight crunch, served on The Nomads Nan with a decadent burnt whole grain mustard cream, spiced beef jus and shaved almonds.
Freshen up your palate in the Pomegranate which serves as a palate cleanser.
Foie in Ash 4.2/5
It is like having foie gras skewer in the Foie in Ash. The chunky foie gras is coated with charred breadcrumbs with a side of cherry gastrique.
Hunter's Plov 4.2/5
A staple along the Silk Road is the plov, a rice dish that is whipped up with whatever ingredients on-hand. The Hunter's Plov at The Nomads is inspired by the Uzbekistan version. It comes in a bowl of A4 wagyu striploin, bone marrow, pickled heirloom carrots, tea quail eggs, brandied raisins and Carnaroli risotto.
Moving to the desserts, the Almaty comes in the form of a dainty tart of smoked apple ribbons with dollops of Gorgonzola cheese and cinnamon yoghurt and a scoop of celery sorbet.
Last but not least, there was a second dessert to end the tasting menu on a sweet note. The soft and fluffy Honey Cake is paired with sour cream ganache, blood orange, rose crystals and refreshing yoghurt sorbet.
The 17-course tasting menu may sound a lot, but each serving is rather bit size portion. As for the gastronomic journey, the cuisine along the Silk Road is very foreign to me. While each individual dish is thoughtfully crafted, the diversity of the culinary influences may work either way. To some, it may be confusing without focus, for others, it may be an exploration adventure.
Note: This is an invited tasting.
70 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 69777057
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer (DT Line)
Daily: 1130am - 230pm, 6pm - 930pm
1) Alight at Telok Ayer MRT station. Take Exit B. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]