Ambling through Newtown in the weekends, I have often stopped and peered in the window of Amigos - the gorgeous wee place tucked into the heart of Riddiford St. A few weekends ago it provided a cozy welcome from the bitterly cold Wellington Saturday night. The interior is a little run down, but charmingly so, and sprawls through 3 different spaces. The atmosphere was warm and jovial and punctuated by traditional music delivered by a proud, classical guitar playing duo. Our drinks orders were taken, both ordering Chilean Pinot Noir from the great range of Chilean wines and cocktails. Our entrée, Espanada Frita de Marisco (seafood pastry turnover) and Empanada de Pino Horno (ground beef, onion, olive and egg pastry turnover), were both delicious ($4). Served golden brown, piping hot and with a generous dollop of tangy, chunky homemade salsa. While service was a little slow, it was friendly and it gave us time to enjoy the wonderful music.
The Pescado Con Salsa Margarita (grilled terakihi with a shellfish and white sauce) was served with spinach cream and seasonal vegetables ($19). The fish was obviously fresh and was cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection. The sauce itself had a lovely flavour, but was let down by the rubbery pre-frozen marinara mix. The vegetables were tossed in a garlic oil and were cooked well retaining their bite. The spinach cream was divine, with a mousse like texture and delicate flavour. While the presentation was lacking somewhat, overall my main was delicious. The Suprema de Pollo (Grilled chicken stuffed with shrimp and olives with seafood white sause), was also reported to be perfectly cooked and delicious. Both portions were quite large. The meal was rounded off with Panqueque Renellos con Manjar (Pancakes with caramel, banana and walnuts) between two ($8). The bananas had been caramelised and were served with hot caramel inside the light pancakes. They were delicious and well presented with drizzles of chocolate and berry sauce. More care needs to be taken with billing - we were slightly overcharged, which may have been symptomatic of being under-staffed. Overall an enjoyable meal in a restuarant with great character and atmosphere. Probably best not to come here if you are in a hurry, or tend toward impatience!
Amigos Chilean Reseraunt
Address165 Riddiford St