The formula is simple – balls come in the pork (fennel, sage and orange), beef (angus), fish (market fish with dill and lemon), or vegetarian (cauliflower, chickpeas and coriander) variety. After you take your pick of meat (or veg), you then choose a sauce – either red (tomato-based), white (creamy), or green (pesto salsa verde). Finally, an extra $3 gets you something for your balls and sauce to sit on – beans, polenta, mash, pasta, or ‘something veg’. The extra $3 is worth it and recommended for those looking for something more substantial – 3 meatballs and sauce alone is highly unlikely fill up a hungry woman, let alone a man!
‘Balls and All’ – Pork balls with white sauce and mash ($18)
A ordered the pork balls with creamy white sauce and ‘super MB potato mash’. From what I gather, she enjoyed it – the mash looked soft, creamy and comforting, and the bread stick on the side was used to mop up all the leftover bits in the bowl.
‘Balls and Sauce’ – Pork balls with red sauce ($15)As I was still quite full from lunch, I opted for the balls and sauce. I found the pork meatballs to be frustratingly dry, and the small amount of sauce that was provided did not help. When split into two with a fork, the meatballs were crumbly and lacked the heartiness that one would expect from a homely meal, rendering it quite average considering the price tag.
Whoopie Mac ($11.50)We finished off with whoopie mac to share – homemade ice cream, sandwiched between two thick cookie shells. Opting for the more traditional route, we chose a chocolate shell with vanilla bean ice cream. To be completely honest, there was nothing particularly spectacular about the whoopie mac; it tasted like the Conoisseur tubs of cookies and cream ice cream that you get at the supermarket. If you’re gonna order this one, we’d recommend choosing some of the more interesting flavours – berry shells with burnt orange ice cream. Even then though, for $11.50 we can’t see the worth in this cookie.
The Meatball and Wine Bar is a quaint joint in the CBD which is almost always packed to the brim, even on a week night. Given the no-bookings policy, a wait of 1 hour plus at peak hours is not uncommon, and can be quite frustrating when you’re hungry and out in the cold. That being said, given the hype these meatballs are worth a visit if you’re looking for a cosy venue with simple Italian food.
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