Nieuw Amsterdam6/23/2014 09:59:00 PM
|Pumpkin Donuts - Kentucky bourbon cream - $12|
Hey hey! Nearly eight weeks after my birthday and we're finally, finally at the end of my birthday celebration posts! Hooray! As a birthday gift, my lovely cousin Catherine took me out for dinner at Nieuw Amsterdam.
106-112 Hardware Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: (03) 9602-2111
I've actually been to Nieuw Amsterdam twice now - a couple of weeks before Cuz took me there for dinner, I'd had lunch there with my friend Duncan. We both got sandwiches, me the baked eggplant, and he the southern-style pork banh mi. I have to say, we were not impressed.
|Baked Eggplant Sandwich - sumac onions, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil - $14|
The fillings were quite good, but the bread was really poor - kinda chewy and hard, rather than crisp and fluffy. Crucially, the bread could not support the structural integrity of the sandwich. The filling slid all over the place, with juice and oil dripping down our hands - it was really messy. Halfway through we gave up on the bread and just ate the filling with cutlery. However, on a positive note, the salad on the side was very nice, and chips were amazing!
So, whilst the bread used for the sandwiches wasn't good, the fillings were pretty good, and the chips and salad were excellent. And because I kept seeing delicious-looking photos on Instagrams and hearing good things about other dishes from friends and coworkers, I was still keen to give it another go.
Ok, dinner. Cuz and I went on a Friday night, and had a drink in the bar downstairs before our six PM table. (Nieuw Amsterdam does two seatings, one at six and one at eight). It's a nice spot for a drink, and the cocktail list is extensive - Cuz and I are both really, really indecisive, and it took us ages to choose!
|Rye-Tanic - Rye Whiskey, Cognac, Apero, splash of Prosecco - $20|
On reading the description, I thought that the Rye-Tanic might be similar to an Aperol Spritz, but it was more like an Old Fashioned. It was heavy on the whiskey and light on the prosecco, overall quite a masculine drink. I still really enjoyed it!
|Front: Trinidad Pick-Me-Up - Angostura 1919, Pedro Ximinez, Whiskey Barrel-Aged bitters, Chocolate bitters, Espresso Foam - $19|
Cuz' Trinidad Pick-Me-Up took a little while to come out because the barman had to go upstairs to get fresh espresso. It was worth the wait though - so delicious with all the rich chocolate, sherry and coffee flavours!
The bread! It seems they serve the same bread as is used in the sandwiches - it was much nicer served just with butter and salt, rather than as a sandwich.
We shared two entrees and two mains, with a side of chips and one dessert, which was a good amount of food. We also split a bottle of Umberto Luigi Domenico prosecco (eep, well it was a Friday night and a celebration!)
|Chicken Waffles - pate, terrine, crispy chicken skin, orange caramel - $15|
Here are the famous chicken waffles: little waffles topped with a square of terrine, a quenelle of pate and a shard of crisp chicken skin. It was a very elegant take on the American diner classic of fried chicken and waffles. Cuz didn't like the pate itself, which meant I got to have two. Muahaha!
|BBQ Scallops - mango gazpacho, avocado, chilli - $16|
We both really liked the BBQ scallops dish: the sweet scallops were cooked perfectly, and combined nicely with the creamy of avocado, sweet mango gazpacho, fresh cucumber slices and crunchy fried shallots. A great combination of flavours and textures.
|Jerk Chicken - crispy rice, black bean puree, pineapple salad - $22|
The jerk chicken was perfectly pleasant, the spicy chicken being complimented with sweet pineapple pieces, red onion, a grilled lime half, and a deep-fried ball of white rice. It was a nice enough dish, but I must say, when I read "Jerk Chicken", I was expecting something a lot more hearty and rustic than the petite piece of lean chicken breast with a thin layer of jerk sauce that we were given.
|New York Clam Chowder - leeks, bacon, potatoes, clam veloute - $21|
The New York Clam Chowder was a very rich, creamy soup filled with clams, potatoes, tomatoes and other tasty bits and pieces. It was a good dish to share, but I think it would be a bit rich if you were to have this as a main by itself. (All that salty, creamy soup!)
|Dutch potato fries - Sriracha mayo - $9|
More of those chips! The perfect balance between crispy and fluffy. YUM. You must order these if you visit Nieuw Amsterdam.
By the time we'd eaten our mains, it was almost eight o'clock, which meant we had to vacate the table. I was disappointed that we wouldn't be able to have dessert, however, without us having to ask, our fast-thinking and super-nice waiter suggested that if we ordered our dessert and settled the bill, he'd be able to set up a table downstairs in the bar so we could enjoy dessert at our leisure. What a great idea! Not only did he manage to suggest and organise all of that in the three minutes we had left at the table, but he also managed to find us a cosy booth downstairs in the busy bar, and have our dessert brought to us - with a bonus birthday candle. Hehehe! It was a win-win-win - the restaurant got the extra sale, we didn't feel like we'd had our dinner cut short, and the next party had their table ready for their eight PM booking. Yay for everyone!
|Pumpkin donuts - Kentucky bourbon cream - $12|
The pumpkin donuts were dee-licious - crisp and fluffy, with a little spice in them and a generous coating of crunchy caster sugar. The massive pile of airy light bourbon cream was a fab accompaniment. (I really want to figure out how to make something similar at home!)
Thank-you to my lovely cousin Catherine for a fabulous dinner and even better company!!!
While we're here, here's a list of my different birthday posts this year:
- Happy Birthday To Me!
- No. 8 by John Lawson
- Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Cloud Cake
- Birthday Lunch at Bistro Thierry
- Prix Fixe: The Whole Hog
- Lee Ho Fook
- Take me to The Lyall!!
- Stefano's, Mildura
- Mildura, Part 2
Thanks to my friends and family for making my thirtieth birthday so wonderful!