Meatball & Wine Bar, Melbourne CBD

Meatball, located in the ever-trendy Flinders Lane, was a random choice for us one day whilst out shopping in the city. Since then we have been back twice, and always leave stuffed and pleased with our meals. Cocktails at Meatball are delicious and don’t skimp on the alcohol, and the Italian-focused wine list partners well with almost any option on the menu. Aside from starters, which include charcuterie and cheese boards, the meatballs truly are the star of the show here. The main course concept is simple- choose a ball (beef, pork, chicken, fish or veggie), choose a sauce (red italian tomato, white creamy or green pesto salsa verde), and choose something for your balls to sit on (housemade pasta, polenta and white beans just being a few of the options). Being the polenta lovers that we are, we’ve found it difficult to go with something other than our creamy favourite when we go to meatball, and with good reason. The polenta is rich and creamy, and is the perfect base for the balls and sauce. On our first visit, Alex had the pork balls, which he said were delicious but slightly overpowered by the orange zest. I went with the chicken balls- these were a bit dry but I really enjoyed the inclusion of pistachios. The green sauce is quite zesty, but at times the raw taste of garlic was a bit overpowering; Alex’s red sauce was more balanced and went better with the polenta.

On my next visit with a friend we arrived after 9:30, which meant that we had to order off of the late night menu, which sadly does not include the main event ‘balls and all’- instead we had to resort to sliders. We went with the veggie sliders (my friend being vegetarian) topped with green sauce, and were pleasantly surprised with the veggie balls! Made with a chickpea base, these balls were flavorsome and amazingly not dry at all- they also stood up to the vibrant salsa verde better than the chicken balls, especially in the delicious, buttery buns (insert risqué food joke here). We also had a starter from the cheese section- burrata on a bed of pangrattato aka delicious breadcrumbs. The burrata was divine- rich, creamy goodness oozing out over the crispy breadcrumbs…I would go back again and again solely for this dish. Service at Meatball can be a bit touch and go- while everyone who works there is delightful (at least everyone we have interacted with), there tends to be quite a bit of lag time in between them checking in on customers. While sometimes this goes unnoticed, on our last visit (for which we forgot our camera) the amount of time it took for our waiter to notice us while we were trying to flag him down for more wine resulted in us just asking for the check instead. Wait time aside, our experiences at Meatball have always been fun and delicious, and this will certainly keep us coming back.

– priya

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a lovely passionfruit cocktail

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pork balls with red sauce on polenta

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chicken balls with green sauce on polenta

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burrata on a bed of pangrattato

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veggie sliders with pesto salsa verde

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