Megan Baadjies speaks to the owner of Nomad Bistro and Bar about the restaurant.
Since opening the restaurant in Waterkant Street in the city centre in May, Sureka says he has learned many lessons through trial and error and admits the career change came with some challenges.
“I used to be a chartered accountant before I decided to do this and I had no experience so I had to speak to a lot of people and experienced restaurateurs.
“I listened to everybody, and some even told me I shouldn’t do it, but I had to make my own decisions. Even if you don’t know everything, you learn as you go along and this has been a learning curve,” Sureka says.
One of those learning curves came when Nomad opened its doors.
Sureka said: “The first 15 days after opening we decided not to do burgers but we realised Cape Town is a burger place so we decided to serve burgers and because our offering is good, people are loving it. People are now calling us the one of the best burger places. So we improved of that side of the menu.”
Born in Mumbai, India, Sureka says the the restaurant’s theme is inspired by his travels.
“The decor, food and drinks all centre around the word ‘nomad’, which also describes my own experiences and travels,” he says. “Cape Town is the fifth city I lived in in the last five or six years. I am from Mumbai but I lived in Dubai, Johannesburg, Cape Town, all over. Cape Town felt like home so I settled here,” says Sureka.
He uses flavours from around the world in his food:
“If you look at the menu you will see we have the Mumbai sniper, a Caribbean cruiser and an Amsterdam slider,” he says.
“We also have tapas from different parts of the world.
“These are not necessarily all the places I visited, but the flavours are from there.
“With our cocktails we have the Down Under, a kiwi flavoured drink, and the East meets West, one of our signature cocktails with Jack Daniel’s, lime, honey and chilli. It’s a very different flavour.
“We also have red and white wine popsicles and we’re the only restaurant in South Africa that makes beer popsicles,” Sureka says, “we update our menu with each season, we like to play around with it.”
Last month, Nomad introduced weekly events, including comedy night, open mic night sessions and DJ’s, to keep diners entertained.
“Tuesday nights we have Comedy at Nomad, from next Wednesday we will have our open mic nights, live music on Thursday evenings and Fridays and Saturdays we have different DJ’s,”
“We realised that events draw more customers and it makes the night more fun.
“If you back that up with a very good food offering, that’s what
you want to do in the long run,” he says.