May 14, 2013 by skeeta79
Pork. Green. Smash. Say it with me people, let it be your mantra – you’re gonna need it.
Before I jump on a big metal bird for my USA trifecta trip…oh, sorry, did I mention I’m going to America? Yes, I’m going to America. Yes, I’ll be shopping…and eating. Anyhoo thought I’d punch out a post before I head off, with the main focus being on the Meatball and Wine Bar (another Flinders Lane special).
Ok. There’s a lot of ‘ball’ jokes to be made here. In fact their menu lends itself to plenty of sniggers. I however, am as pure as the driven sno…(I couldn’t type that with a straight face – oh the lie!) However some calls are just too easy, you’ve got to give this little black duck a challenge for it to count!
Anyway Meatball and Wine Bar. Us girls had been talking about it for a while and finally got a night locked in. I’d been as sick as the proverbial however was not missing this one so in retrospect apologies for being a walking bio-hazard. As per the Flinders Lane way, there’s no bookings so Jules and I rocked up at 6 to be informed that 8.30 was about the earliest for a table of 5. Ugh. And there’s a distinct lack of bars within a block radius to hang out at. So I put my name down – I have found through many a trial and error that going with my first name inevitably ends in confusion so ‘Hughes’ it was. Front of House – ‘So I’ll be asking for Ms Hughes and her group then’? Smartarse (in a good way). Yes you will.
Because we’re tough, Jules and I decided to wait out the front for the rest of the gang (note: heaters would be a great idea – just saying). And at 6.30 cheeky FoH comes wandering out ‘You’re the Hughes family aren’t you? Welsh? I’m [insert very Welsh name here]’. Not going to waste an opportunity – game on ‘so you’d be making sure the welsh connection gets a table right?’…10 minutes later ‘if the rest of your party is here in 5 minutes you might have a table’. Yes readers, that’s how you do it.
So apart from that self-congratulatory moment, the restaurant is amaze…wait for it…balls. Small, really busy. They are opening one in Richmond any moment now, but it’s got big shoes to fill in terms of ambiance – or we were just the most fun table there. We are happy for restaurants to hire us. Call me.
Ah, yeh menu is pretty much what it says on the tin, and to be honest it’s really not for the leaf-eaters. We shared the sliders for entrees – beef. red sauce. on sweet mini buns. Ever watched me inhale food? Multiply that by 5 people.
As for mains go for the Balls & All: You choose your meat. You choose your sauce. You choose your side which is, and I quote “Sotto Palle. Something for your balls to sit on”. Bring on the mantra. Pork. Green. Smash. Lets break it down – pork balls – spheres of delish – not gristly, dry blech. Green sauce = pesto with crunchy Parmesan. Then get the ‘smash’ for the accompaniment – potatoes in a carby, lardy goodness. For viewers of the TV show Smash (which has nothing to do with potatoes other than in this far-reaching analogy) the spuds are like the Derek Wills character; rough, unrefined and yet so attractive. You know it’s bad for you but you can’t say no….I wonder if Derek likes meatballs…sorry, where was I?
There is a fair bit of garlic involved in this little trinity of yum so just keep that in mind if you’re on a date (or both order it then everyone’s a winner baby).
Dig in, balls and all…
in other locations…
enough of the balls? I also caught up with Betty at Mart130 for breakfast. Mart is Tram spelt backwards (I AM brilliant!) because it’s the cafe situated literally in the old Station Masters building at tram stop 130 in Middle Park (opp Middle Park hotel if you’re driving). Totally clever idea. Execution was a bit so-so. Service wasn’t exactly swift, the food was fine (although the bread almost needed a steak knife to cut through) and coffee good (some people aren’t big fans of Genovese coffee but I like it). But its cash only! What tha? This isn’t dirty pho in Footscray (even they take eftpos!) For something a bit different however ‘get on board’ and give it a go.
I have a ‘thing’ (yes I realise I have a ‘thing’ about a variety of ‘things’) about what constitutes a tapas restaurant. Maybe its from living in the UK and playing in Spain – but if it ain’t a Spanish menu, don’t call it tapas. I’m all for meze, antipasto or just call it shared plates…but turkish bread and dips is not tapas. Patas bravas, albondigas, croquettes etc = tapas. Anally retentive rant over. However the point of this is that a gang of us from the west-side have decided to start trying out the local haunts and our first stop was Dig a Pony in Yarraville. Tapas bar and Lounge. Set in a cool space, unfortunately they do bring a united nations view of what constitutes tapas, however the Sangria was great and the food (such as the saganaki and slow cooked pork belly dishes…and the dips and Turkish bread) was yum. A fun night, due more to the company than overwhelming food. But then I’m waiting to go to Movida so maybe my standards are high 🙂
Until next time, don’t eat your crusts! – S xx