If I’m about to head off for a trip for a while, and Brad is not coming with me, I always use it as an excuse to schedule in a few extra meals together…as I’m kind of saving him money since I won’t be around…right?
Before this next trip, I insisted he come meet me after work one night to check out Nieuw Amsterdam.
This New York inspired space, which had taken over an old Irish pub and given it a fresh and slick new face, is spread out over two levels. We opted to sit upstairs, where the light was bright and inviting with lots of art deco hints in the decor.
As we deliberated the menu, which defines itself as ‘New American’, with its roots in American culture and taking flavours and inspirations from the immigrant population, we nibbled on a small log of house made New York sourdough. The sourdough is cooked in a combi oven, which introduces steam and humidity to the process, resulting in a tanned and crunchy outside that contrasts nicely with the soft inside. There’s a delightful butteriness in this dense bread,that leaves the fingers mildly oily.
The concept of chicken and waffles, ever popular in the states, continues to baffle me. However Nieuw Amsterdam’s take on this classic, with pate and terrine stacked on mini waffles, and finished off with a sliver of crispy chicken skin and a drop of orange caramel, is not to be missed
I’ve always been a sucker for chicken pate, and here they have taken this love to a new level with a play on texture and the richness in flavour. The real highlights for me, were the tiny piece of chicken skin at the top, that audibly crunched amongst the softness in the mouth, and the orange caramel, unexpected, but so delightful.
Grits fritters with a variety of sweetcorn and heirloom beetroots is pure comfort. The grits reminding me of gnocchi, with their round shape and fluffy and light texture. The flavours on a whole made me think of Mexico, corn, bright flavours and all that cheese. Mmhmm!
On the side, I couldn’t resist a serve of Dutch potato fries with spiced garlic mayo. I’m not entirely sure what makes these Dutch, but I know that these were delicious. I tend to usually opt for skinny and crunchy, but I was definitely wooed over with these generously cut, finger thick fries with a nice dark colour.
Our last savoury was the Southern style pork belly chops, completed with sauerkraut, apple sauce and crackling. Who can ever really dislike crackling? Certainly not I, as I dived in and happily snap, crackle, crunched my way through the lot!
Even before our dishes were cleared, I put in my dessert order, and quite promptly, I found the Nieuw chocolate bar, with banana and tonka bean ice-cream placed in front of me. With the ice-cream just at the precipice between holding its shape and melting, it was perfect with the smooth chocolate bar that put up no resistance or tension against my spoon as I scooped some up.
I’ve been impressed with some of the newcomers onto the Melbourne dining scene since the start of the year. Nieuw Amsterdam fills in a nice little space where they’re dishing up amazing food, with some of the friendliest service, at prices that really don’t hurt the pocket much that you might also be able to indulge in late into the night.
So why are you still here? Hurry up and go get some (slightly schmancy) chicken and waffles in you!