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Autumn in New York with Martin Bleich at Nieuw Amsterdam

Nieuw Amsterdam has always been innovative and evolving; including it's name as the original name for New York. It's one of the favourites of chefs in Melbourne. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to taste some of the new dishes created by Nieuw Amsterdam’s Head Chef, Martin Bleich. Surely one of the best steak and meat restaurants in Melbourne.

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The evening began in Nieuw Amsterdam's ‘downtown’ cocktail bar (as it often does) for liquid creations by Sean McGuire (Bar Manager), then we moved Uptown to the restaurant for a meal by Head Chef Martin Bleich. Alex Killerby (Restaurant Manager) was on hand to assist with drink pairings. The time in the bar is a right of passage and we have been served amazing cocktails by iconic Sean McGuire for years (keep rocking Sean) with bespoke cocktails with a twist or three on the classics. A Rose chocolate affogato (above) will blow your mind.

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Head Chef Martin Bleich prepared a selection of stunning dishes with an ode to New York in autumn.

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We loved the raison d'etre and technique behind the dishes; painting a vivid picture as we imagined New York in autumn. We also appreciated the seasonal fresh and locally sourced ingredients. We also love it when a chef is let loose to express himself, and Chef Martin comes with loads of experience from famous restaurants overseas (see his history later in the article). The mood at Nieuw Amsterdam is of new world dining chic - we note the interior is one of Melbourne's most desirable in this building full of heritage.

Chef Martin is new to Nieuw Amsterdam and we are excited for his contribution to the Melbourne foodie scene. what is also cool is that the staff are already versed in his menu and nuances - the service at Nieuw Amsterdam has always been delivered by engaging foodies that have genuine foodie passion.

Salmon pastrami

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The perfect meal starter! Chef Martin’s vision of an Autumn garden, this dish is a nieuw take on the pastrami on rye dish made famous in New York delicatessens. The Salmon is bourbon-cured, and encrusted in a classic pastrami seasoning. It is served with watercress mayonnaise, radish, cos and dark rye bread. All their salmon is sustainably farmed in New Zealand. We know pastrami is a big deal in New York and the salmon pastrami is a genius dish with a nod to the produce of this region.

Cheese croquettes

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An all-time favourite of Chef Martin’s, these croquettes are with filled with melted provolone cheese and served with a sharp tomato relish inspired by the classic flavours of the Chianti region. We would call these "adult croquettes" with refined taste, indulgent yet approachable.

Lamb rump 


Beautifully pink lamb rump is locally sourced and served with texture of carrots - blanched, powdered, charred and salsa verdé.   The lamb is the hero and is perfectly cooked with pink meat and super tender. The charred carrot puree is a highlight in itself!

Beef short rib

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Tasmanian Cape Grim beef are grass fed and raised in a pristine environment. The short ribs are lightly smoked, cooked on a low heat in a BBQ and red wine sauce, served with silverbeet, creamed corn and shallots. Cape Grim is a hero itself but Chef Martin brings technique to the standout produce in nuances of smoke, low heat cook and quality of sauce.

Tarte Tatin

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The creation of this bistro classic is said to have come about purely by accident by the Tatin Sisters who ran L’Hotel Tatin in France during the 1880s. The story goes that Stephanie (Fanny) Tatin whilst overworked, accidentally burnt apples cooking in butter and sugar that were meant for a pie. She tried to save the overcooked apples by covering them in pastry and cooking the whole pan in the oven. Once realizing the tarte had no base she simply flipped it upside down and served it anyway. The result was a roaring success and this 1880s dish is still served the world over. But not as expertly as here at Nieuw Amsterdam.

Bleich was inspired by the tarte Tatin when working for Anthony Demetre in France and brings this passion to the plate here at Nieuw Amsterdam for some deep, dark caramel flavours. Decadence overdrive and worth a trip across town.

Hot chocolate mousse

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Luxuriously decadent, this dish will warm you on a cold Autumn night. The Hot Chocolate mousse uses rich Belgian chocolate, honeycomb ice-cream and freeze dried berries. Like a hug from your mum.

The new autumn menu at Nieuw Amsterdam is a triumph. Highly recommended.


A bit about Chef Martin

Martin Bleich brings passion for and experience in New York brasserie style cuisine, which is the direction he’s taking the menus at Nieuw Amsterdam. He was Senior Sous Chef to Gordon Ramsey’s London restaurant, York & Albany, and has worked in Michelin Star restaurants in Europe and award-winning restaurants in New York (including Wild Honey in London, L’Auberge St Walfrid in France and L’Absinthe in New York).

A bit about Nieuw Amsterdam

Nieuw Amsterdam is a two-level, late-night, New York-style bar and eatery located in Melbourne’s CBD, owned and run by Michael Roszbach (former Manager of Cookie in Melbourne). Our unique venue is located in an 1880s iron foundry building (originally of hardware merchants), said to have named the Hardware Street precinct. Nieuw Amsterdam recently celebrated its third anniversary and serves New York brasserie-style food with a mix of quirky and classic cocktails.