Lunch at NOM is About More Than Just Meatballs
NOM (Not Only Meatballs) is famous for its wide selection of creative and substantial meat ball dishes. However as the name would suggest, there’s a lot more to get excited about at this Elgin Street eatery.
We recently attended a media tasting of the new lunch set menu, which showcases the hearty, but refined Italian food from the a la carte menu in a new three course set lunch ($178 including tea/coffee but excluding service charge).
The set menu combines a light starter in the shape of a salad, followed by a heavier main course and a fun ice-cream slider dessert. Each week there is a new menu, but the core components remain the same; there is always a meatball sandwich, a pasta, and a pizza on offer as well as other main course choices. Similarly the ice-cream slider changes weekly – look out for some very creative flavours from Chef Fabrizio Napolitano and his team.
Our meal started as promised with a healthy salad. We tried the roast pumpkin, goats yogurt and Montgomery cheddar salad; the quinoa with beetroot and baby spinach and the sweet potato with seaweed salsa verde with red apple and oyster mushrooms.
I thought the salads were well conceived, interesting and a refreshing variation on the salad starter that is usually part of a set lunch menu. The standout though was the quinoa, which was beautifully nutty and perfectly complimented the sweet baby beetroot.
On to the mains. We couldn’t eat at NOM without digging into the meatballs, and the ultimate meatball sandwich certainly didn’t disappoint. The bread had a good crunch, but was lovely and soft inside and, despite the ample tomato sauce and melted cheese, managed to not turn soggy. The rich beef and pork meatballs, liberally covered in Fontina cheese and tomato sauce were mouthwateringly good. It’s worth asking your server to cut the sandwich unless you want to go back to the office with sauce on your suit!
The final part of the set menu was NOM’s interesting take on dessert in the shape of an ice-cream slider. A brioche bun covered in kumquat cardamom jam sandwiched a basil and cardamon ice-cream. The refreshing and unusual flavours combined very nicely with the well made brioche. For me, the lotus chips on the side didn’t really add much other than some texture.
In addition to the items from the set menu, we also sampled a few of the a la carte dishes. First up, the Burrata, served with heirloom tomatoes and watermelon, was outstanding. The cheese had a rich butter-like taste, and was served so simply with the fresh tangy tomatoes and sweet watermelon, so that it really was the star of the plate ($155).
Next up came the 48 hour slow roasted New Zealand short ribs, which are grilled on hay and accompanied by a bell pepper mayo, topped with coffee. The melt in the mouth beef had a great flavour and they are served with a basket of roasted seasonal vegetables – perfect comfort food for a cold winter’s day. The mayonnaise accompaniment has an interesting flavour, but does little to enhance the beef – it’s best just left on the side.
And finally, another stand-out dish was the Wagyu beef slider served with home made ketchup, Gubbeen cheese and watercress. The usual portion from the a la carte menu is three of this perfect little morsels ($158). The rich, perfectly seasoned Wagyu patties combined beautifully with the pepppery watercress and strong cheese – certainly a dish I will order again on my next visit.
The set lunch at NOM is substantial and good value ($178 inc tea and coffee but not service). I was impressed with the quality of ingredients and the flavours that chef Fabrizio had created in his dishes and as a lunchtime venue, it offers something a little different from the usual choices around SoHo. The a la carte choices also make it an appealing selection for dinner, and it has ample space for groups. If you just want to grab a couple of drinks after work, don’t miss Tuesday nights where you can dig into free pizza with your drink!
1-5 Elgin Street, Central (lower Elgin Street off Hollywood Road)