It almost feels like a lifetime ago that I was sitting in my front room here in Melbourne watching an episode of Offspring, explaining to my parents what the hell was going on. We went through the Proudman family tree, Patrick and oh yeah. more about Patrick. With good reason, my Mum was instantly hooked on the show for the two weeks she was here. To think that last nights episode could well be the last ever is not sitting right with me. I'm in a state of shock. Anyway, less about Offspring and back to my parents. Yes, they were here, after what felt like three years of waiting for them to visit me.
They arrived over here on the fifth of July, the night before my birthday. I had been searching for a long time for a restaurant, the right restaurant for my dinner. I can't think of anything worse than picking a bad restaurant for your birthday. After making a booking at Huxtable, I went with a friends recommendation and cancelled Huxtable, making a booking at Nieuw Amsterdam instead.
Walking in, I was instantly impressed. I loved the chilled Sunday night vibe and loved the way in which everyone just seemed to be having a good time. Trendy restaurants don't always scream relaxed to me - they scream chaos and disorder - which given the right mood I quite like. Nieuw Amsterdam was a pleasant surprise. We were brought to our table which was a little bit tucked away from the main dining hall and at first I felt we were a little on the periphery but after a while I was happy to be able to hear the other people I was with for once.
With it being my birthday, I made sure to order a nice drink to start off. Both my mama and I ordered the Pina Margarita which was a deliciously hot mixture of Tromba Blanco, Muddled Pineapple, Lime Juice, Agave and a dash of Hot Sauce. We both loved it but with my low tolerance for alcohol - I kept it just to the one that night.
The menu is amazing, with a wide selection of share dishes that just make your mouth water. We started off with the broccoli and cheese profiteroles which came with a broccoli sauce and goats curd. The pastry was light, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The pastry was filled with the creamy goats curd and each of the profiteroles laid on top of a beautifully creamy broccoli sauce. We followed that with the pork trotter and ham hock nuggets with burnt onion jam. Again these were very tasty, however I would have loved them to be a tad meatier inside.
Next we had my personal favourite of the night, the grits fritters which came with a variety of sweetcorn and and heirloom beetroot. Wow. Words fail me when it comes to this dish. I need to have this again and real soon. Sensational. Moving onto the main dishes, all of which were sharing plates - we ordered the smokey beef brisket with carrot remoulade, the barbecued lamb ribs which came with a honey spice rub, rosemary, lemon and the southern style pork belly chops with sauerkraut, apple sauce and crackling. Add to that a few plates of the Dutch potato fries and bobs your uncle you have one frickin' awesome main course for four people. Every dish was amazing. There was nothing we could fault collectively, however, me not being a fan of ribs, I don't think I would order them if I went back. My father on the other hand - loved them.
We finished the meal with a few coffees and two desserts. The peanut butter waffle with salted peanut caramel and raspberry sorbet was the dish I was craving most. After having the amazing peanut butter dessert at Supernormal, I was really craving something with peanut butter. The other dish we ordered was the pumpkin doughnuts with Kentucky bourbon cream. I wasn't expecting anything really with the doughnuts, they are what they are but by God was I in for a shock. The peanut butter dish left me a tad underwhelmed and I questioned the sorbet and the richness of the chocolate. I wasn't getting that peanut butter flavour I was after and turning my attention to the doughnuts I was glad I had left some room as they were sensational. Crunchy on the outside and like fluffy clouds on the inside, these are now one of my favorite desserts in Melbourne. Overall, I was thoroughly chuffed with the night we had at Nieuw Amsterdam and can't wait to get back there again. Next time though, I'll be hitting that gorgeous bar underneath too. For more information on Nieuw Amsterdam check out their website here.