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Having A Ball


Today, it’s all about meatballs.  A few months ago it was dude food and before that, real burgers. Yes, the latest food trend to visit our shores is the good old fashioned meatball. Keep up! Type ‘meatball’ into the search engine and you’ll see what I mean.

Last week I was invited* to attend a TwEAT Up to celebrate the opening of the The Meatball Company at the Fox Hotel in South Brisbane.  The Fox started life as the appropriately named Terminus Hotel at South Brisbane station.  It was where the trains from southern Australia terminated as there was no rail bridge across the river to the city.  Though a bridge was built, the Terminus continued to trade in one form or another until it was re-badged as the Sly Fox Hotel in the late 1990’s. It’s had another reinvention, this time as the Fox Hotel with a huge, modern renovation throughout though it still retains some of the character of its 1930’s bones.

The Meatball Co is tucked at the back of The Fox.  It’s a casual restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere.  Simple, bright furnishings and some quirky touches such as a painted ceiling add to the fun vibe without being gimicky. There’s a simple menu with half a dozen meatball options, some sides, substantial salads and desserts. Meatball flavours include Beef in Smokey Tomato Sauce; Pork & Veal in a Chilli Tomato Sauce (my favourite of the evening), and Chicken & Sweetcorn with Creme Fraiche in a deceptively spicy coating that is reminiscent of the Colonel’s. The balls are served in a tapas style dish with a good dollop of sauce so you might also like to order a starter serve of Bread w Smoked Butter ($7) to mop up with.  The beef, pork and lamb versions work best – after all, a meatball is a meatball. They are moist and well seasoned and the sauces are rich and savoury.  Sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Beef in Smokey Tomato Sauce

Vegetarian’s are taken care of with a Green Pea, Arborio Rice & Manchego ball in the form of an arancini on a bed of crushed peas as well as  some very good salads and sides. It’s surprising to think that one of the best salads I’ve had in ages came from the kitchen of what is essentially a meat restaurant.  The Wild Rice, Pearl Barley and Quinoa side ($8) looked attractive, tasted nutty and toothsome and had a mysterious little crunch in it that had us all guessing.  I also recommend the Fried Broccoli w Manchego ($8). I’m not a huge fan of broccoli but you really can’t go wrong when something’s fried and dusted with breadcrumbs and cheese can you?

Green Pea, Rice & Manchego

Meatballs are priced at $14 for 3 but these aren’t three little cocktail sized balls. These are rustic, fist sized balls. A serve of meatballs and a side would be more than enough for most. Of course, the concept and the food lends itself to sharing with friends so with a group you could have the run of the menu.  If you do go as a group, I suggest also trying the Charcuterie Plate ($26) to share. It’s one of the best I’ve had recently with pork hock, salamis, spicy nduja, pickled cauliflower and more.  Top it off with an ice cream sandwich (Strawberries & Cream is the pick) – happy days.

I’m sure Sunday sessions will be legendary as the days warm up, the afternoons stretch into evenings and people will be looking for fast, filling food.  You’ll need some meatballs after a Bloody Warhol cocktail using caramelised onion vodka and smoked tomato with beef jerky and pickled onions. A surprising palate pleaser. This is in no way refined dining. It’s simple food, in a relaxed environment and there’s nothing wrong with that!

*TIFFIN attended The Meatball Company TwEat Up as a media guest of The Press Garage.

The Meatball Company
The Fox Hotel
71 – 73 Melbourne St
South Brisbane  Qld   4101

Visited: Tuesday 17th September 2013 – Dinner Service

The Meatball Company on Urbanspoon


6 comments… add one
  • Mel Kettle September 25, 2013, 1:06 pm

    I was disappointed not to make it to this, but I think we are going for dinner tonight. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! September 25, 2013, 6:11 pm

      It's very laid back but perfect for a casual dinner. I'm sure you tried some meatballs on your recent NYC trip so you can compare and contrast.

    • Mel Kettle September 25, 2013, 9:39 pm

      actually we didn't eat any meatballs in NYC. There was a meatball chain we planned to go to a couple of times but we didn't quite make it. REALLY enjoyed dinner at Balls tonight – LOVED the broccoli. Had the beef and the pork/veal. Both v good. Coincidentally I'm going again for lunch tomorrow 🙂

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! September 26, 2013, 10:05 am

      I'd say 'glutton for punishment' but it's hardly a punishment is it? Enjoy!

  • Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things September 26, 2013, 3:17 pm

    Interesting… love a good TwEATup! And meatballs are the best!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! September 28, 2013, 10:46 am

      It was an unexpected invite as I was on the bus on the way home. It was good to eat some new Brisbane tweeps I hadn't met. One day Liz…one day…

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