Friday, 9 August 2013

Meatball and Wine Bar

135 Flinders Lane 
Melbourne, VIC 

I’m late, again. After being open for 1 year, and watching the blog posts roll in ever since, I finally found myself at Meatball and Wine Bar, another one of the snazzy bars with specialty food that Melbourne loves so much. 

The concept at Meatball and Wine Bar is simple, but it has clearly struck a chord. Pick your balls (pork, beef, fish, vegetarian), sauce them up (red tomato, white creamy, green salsa), and give them something to sit on (beans, polenta, potato, pasta, veggies). The mood lighting makes this place great for wooing, and the menu is ripe with sexual euphemisms if you’re ballsy enough to pull them off. Just be careful you don’t make your date too testy (HEE). 

But say you manage to put off your date with one lewd pun too many, you can always count on the gorgeous bar to smooth things over. Set against the paint-stripped brick wall are shelves of liquor, and further back, rows upon rows of wine. We didn’t indulge that particular night, but we did witness two young ladies get progressively sillier and flirtier with the cute waiters as the night went on. 

Beef Balls with Red Tomato Sauce on Homemade Pasta ($18)

Chris is a simple man, and he was more than happy to try the Beef Balls with Red Tomato Sauce on Homemade Pasta ($18). I found these rather dry and the sauce lacking in flavour, though you can tell that the beef was a nicer variety than the $9.99/kg business from Coles. All up, I found these to be unremarkable, and I wouldn’t have them again.

Pork Balls with Green Pesto Salsa Verde on Potato Smash ($18)

Pork Balls with Green Pesto Salsa Verde on Potato Smash ($18)

I on the other hand had the Pork Balls with Green Pesto Salsa Verde on Potato Smash ($18), the photos of which turned out so terrible that I decided to put both the DSLR and iPhone shot up and let you readers decide which is less cringe-worthy. At any rate these balls were a lot tastier and richer than their beef counterparts, and also brighter due to the fennel seeds and orange. The salsa was a bit salty, but it had a pure parsley flavour to it, which was lovely mixed in with the creamy mash. 

Grilled Mushrooms ($8.5)

We also had a serve of Grilled Mushrooms ($8.5) on the side, and whilst the serving of two large mushrooms seemed rather stingy, I couldn’t fault the plump, juicy specimens themselves, especially not when they doubled as vehicles for salty, chewy Taleggio cheese.

I’m not sold on Meatball and Wine Bar; I think the hype has made it seem way better than it actually is. I understand (and fully support) the concept of using good produce – aka quality over quantity, but what’s the point in paying a premium when the food tastes just ok? That said though, it does seem to be more than the sum of its parts, and whilst I wasn’t all that impressed by the food, I had a good experience overall. 

I wasn’t going to put this photo in initially, with it being so blurry and all. But the moustachioed waiter gave such a good smoulder for the camera that I was left with no choice!

Rating: 12.5/20 – tastier balls please.

This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. And the size of my balls. 

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