I excitedly booked this one in due to its instant popularity on the Urbanspoon charts, and by jove it did not disappoint. Another unmarked entrance meant I almost walked past but it turns out Nieuw Amsterdam is in the old Puggs Mahone.
The décor in the bar below is much the same, moody lighting but a new styled bar with friendly staff, the upstairs is quite modern and refreshing, though sticking with the wooden fittings.
We settled down and I was chuffed to see WAFFLES ON THE MENU! These Chicken Waffles, pate, terrine, crispy chicken skin, orange caramel ($15.0 for three pieces, $4.0 for extra waffle) were incredible. Holy waffles batman! Amazing. The smooth rich pate matched with the more meaty terrine and crispy texture of the skin, with an accent by the orange caramel were divine. The waffle was soft and mostly savoury and with that hit of potent duck pate… I will order these every time I return.
This Mash and gravy ($9.0) was the creamiest thing I have ever put in my mouth /giggity. And so damn tasty, it was more like butter with a bit of mash. The gravy was quite thin, but flavour packed.
To accompany our mains we got Dutch potato fries, sriracha mayo ($9.0) which were roughly cut and chunky, baked not fried but satisfactory. The aioli was pretty epic, salty and way better than tomato sauce with fries.
The BBQ Scallops, mango gazpacho, avocado, chilli ($16.0) were served lightly seared but mostly raw and a tad chewy, with most of the flavour of the sweet scallops being overpowered by the stronger puree and chilli oil that accompanied the dish. Worth a try, but not as good as the waffles.
We ordered the New York Clam Chowder, leeks, bacon, potatoes, clam veloute ($20.0) with glee as I was never really sure what a clam chowder was or should taste like. After trying this one however, I want to make it my staple. One first taste the soup was quite sour, but whilst eating it with the bacon and clams it was so comforting; truly a creamy and warming winter dish. The bread was lovely and fresh and went so well to mop up the chowder, though we did have to ask for more to ensure we left no drop left.
The Southern Style pork belly chops, sauerkraut, apple sauce, crackle ($21.0) were soft and tender, with no skimping on the fat or flavour. The crackling was somewhat pointless as the taste was overpowered by everything else on the dish. The sauerkraut tasted mildly like apple and was only a tad sour, so was actually quite delectable, especially when eaten with the pork.
And desserts were the Berry Split, berry jelly, white chocolate mousse, cream cheese sorbet ($14.0) which was a great little dessert. Fantastic layers of sorbet, mousse which reminded me of panna cotta, and jelly plus berry granita with POPPING CANDY. The biscuit decoration was thin and crispy but didn’t really match the dish.
And then, my mind was blown by the Pumpkin Donuts, Kentucky bourbon cream ($12.0). These donuts had a crumbly outer shell with a super soft moist fluffy core. It was great. I would not have picked up on the pumpkin though; they just tasted like less sweet and dense donut holes. The cream was quite rich but with prominent bourbon notes plus sugar. This quickly became my favourite dessert and you get so many too!
TL;DR Bring whoever you want to impress here, the perfect date night.