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Nieuw Amsterdam Autumn Menu Stunning New Dishes

 NieuwAmsterdamFeb16 19

Nieuw Amsterdam the New York style restaurant in Hardware Street is where the foodies, as well as hospitality crowd, love to visit. It's become somewhat of a foodie icon in Melbourne. You can feel the energy. Staff are upbeat and engaging and know their stuff. American style cuisine with a twist is playful with quality offerings. The World Loves Melbourne (David and Mark) was invited to an intimate gathering with selected Melbourne media to check out the new autumn dishes. Check out our Best Steak and Meat Restaurants in Melbourne.

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Nieuw Amsterdam has one of the best bars in Melbourne, with it's hidden gem downstairs. We imbibed Fried pickles (culinary staple in the US) with an aperitif (in our case beer on tap). We think we recognise Bartender Sean McGuire from the early days of Nieuw Amsterdam and he's still going strong. We also note the staff here are like one big hospitality family. We're told you can come here late, as in "late late", with no lockdown laws here in Melbourne.

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French toast was served with a Peas-go-sour cocktail (clever name). French toast is an American diner mainstay with the Nieuw Amsterdam version a play on sweet and savoury French toast with Tomato jam, goats curd and surprise element of candied black olive. We loved this dish and its playful interpretation.

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Owner and Nieuw Amsterdam legend Michael Roszbach (ex-Cookie) gave us the history of the restaurant and his foodie philosophy; they are professional but also playful, not taking everything too seriously. They like to put a twist on American classics. Some bloggers have mistaken the name for a Dutch restaurant and compared the fare here to Dutch food; showing they are ill informed. This is clearly a New York style restaurant. Nieuw Amsterdam became New York in 1664 of course.

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Southern fried chicken? How about Southern Fried Quail? This is a delightful dish; we enjoyed the spices on the juicy quail, as well as the crumbed crispy exterior. This dish links back to a much older southern tradition when quail was a staple. Nieuw Amsterdam have used pickled grapes to link in the tradition of preserves being served with meals throughout the colder months.

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Waffles? Mac 'n Cheese? Two mainstays of American comfort food rolled into one dish. Home cooking at its most comforting; as much a part of American food culture as Vegemite is here. The World Loves Melbourne loves this waffled version of Mac 'n Cheese; decadence upon decadence. The dish includes sweet corn, herbs and cayenne pepper. Instead of cheesey sauce, Nieuw Amsterdam have created their own "cheese whizz" and served with bacon maple jam. 

The dish is intense in a good way. Salty, creamy, sweet, cheesy bliss. You may need to book in your Personal Trainer.

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The World Loves Melbourne's favourite for the night was the Curry Spiced Lamb Rib. Lamb in America has its history rooted in immigration largely from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. Nieuw Amsterdam cooks this dish low and slow to maximise the flavours of the lamb, while slowly infusing the flavours of the curry. These ribs were on point and the nuance of the curry added delightfully to the dish.

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Brisket baby! Brisket has become a chart topper here in Melbourne and all around the world in recent times. A favourite of pitmasters in Texas and NYC Jewish delicatessens alike, brisket has taken centre stage. That tender cut from the breast or lower chest. Brisket needs that long cooking process to break down the tough connective tissue to ensure a juicy cut. Nieuw Amsterdam spice rubs the brisket, in this case a coffee rub, and then sous vide for 48 hours before placing it on the charcoal pit grill. Finishing in this way enables a "bark"; a feature of BBQ brisket. 

We were surprised at the thickness of these brisket cuts; we're used to thin pieces of brisket served on paper. This was an eloquent dish with juicy smokey briskey, served with onion, mushroom, blue cheese (wow) and a red wine jus. The crispy potatoes and salad were also perfect accompaniments.

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Modern dining and exceptional cocktails were matched with each course. Although we did enjoy a sneaky Pinot.

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Tasso Pork was another highlight, looking slightly dark in the bowl, but a delicious dish of spiced Pork neck with red cabbage, currants, and smoked ham hock stock. We understand Nieuw Amsterdam is about nuances not just relying on well cooked meats. 

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Desserts brought more fun and playfulness. The Stonewall Cocktail was matched with decadent Mexican Hot Chocolate (with a delightful and unusual rough cocoa) with house made marshmallo, cranberry and spices; as well as a NY Cheesecake served with house made honeycomb and a Laphroig whisky marmalade to balance all the sweetness on the dish. These dishes were homely, artistic, indulgent and fun.

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We were given Pumpkin donuts to take home; the evidence eaten almost straight away with Jack Daniels cream.

It was enjoyable to mingle with the Plus Ones, The City Lane, Food Rehab, Drink Melbourne and I'm So Hungree. The night was well run and the food was excellent. On reflection this was a cracking evening and I would highly recommend the foodie experience at Nieuw Amsterdam. You can't get this kind of experience at home and it's what eating out in Melbourne is all about.