Nieuw Amsterdam

106-112 Hardware Street, Melbourne
Date visited: 22nd March 2014

Nieuw Amsterdam is a New York style eatery and nighttime bar on Hardware Street.  It is located in a split-level venue right next door to the ever popular Hardware Societe.  

The interior is beautiful, with brick arched windows, dark wood and black cushioned benches running the length of one wall.  We were a bit hardcore, being the first to arrive (explains the empty tables) just after noon on this gloomy Saturday.  

Gorgeous setting
There weren't as many options for lunch as there was on the dinner menu, but certainly enough variety to keep us happy.   We chose one of the BBQ meat trays and a main to share.

MerlinFan chose the Beef Brisket served with cabbage salad, mash and gravy, pickles and bread and sauce.

Beef Brisket $22
A boat of gravy was poured over the mound of ridiculously tender, flavourful beef brisket.  The beef was very moreish and definitely the star here - I wished there was more on the plate.  We loved the soft, fluffy bread with the butter and the punchy cabbage salad offered something different from average.  Personally, I like my mash potato chunky, but many will no doubt love the velvety smooth, oozing mash.  

For the main, we had the Grits Fritters.

Grits Fritters $19

How was the fritters?

Gee, it's corny!   Imagine sweetcorn flavoured gnocchi.  Topped off with more sweetcorn, heirloom beetroots and grated cheese, this dish was sweet and a little bit tangy rather than salty.  I generally have a lesser tolerance for sweet dishes, so this got a bit too rich and heavy for us in all its sweetness.

MerlinFan and I had to have our coffees with dessert.

Cappucino, latte $3.50 each
Our Cappuccino and Latte were nice and strong.

I admit it.  I actually wanted to visit Nieuw Amsterdam because of the desserts.  I was so disappointed when the waitress told us the Peanut Butter Sandwich was not available - it was one of the two desserts I had been set on trying.

On the bright side, The Nieuw Chocolate Bar was available.

The Nieuw Chocolate Bar $12
Talk about the perfect dessert.  Silky smooth tonka bean ice cream sitting atop crunchy crumble went perfectly with the caramelised bananas and moist banana bread.  And that rich, decadent chocolate bar... just divine.

We also had the Berry Split.

Berry Split $14
The presentation was lovely.  The glass was layered with berry jelly, white chocolate mousse, cream cheese sorbet, extremely tangy berry granita and strawberries that had gone half frozen from the cold.  And the best part was?  The pop rocks buried inside that gave the granita that extra spit and crackle.  The sourness was a bit too much for MerlinFan but I was happy to polish it off.

Dessert brought a great end to our lunch at Nieuw Amsterdam.  I still want to try that Peanut Butter Sandwich and would love to sample their other BBQ Meat Trays or dinner offerings.  

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