Meatballs, lovely meatballs: these dinky orbs of protein and seasonings come in various flavours from the classic Italian Lady and the Tramp variety to the modern spins available from street food stalls. They’re not a food trend that has popped up overnight, but more one that has been simmering away in the background, the sauce bubbling gently in the pot.
Jez Felwick’s street food stall is going permanent in partnership with fellow meatball fanatic Russell Norman (see below). The new venture aims to serve balls for every occasion, so from 9am it will be possible to order brunch-y dishes like smokin’ bacon balls with a baked rosti and beans. The all-day menu will be served from 11am, with balls inside a pitta, with sides like rice, or on salad. There will be veggie ball options too, including the ‘balafal’, which we’re going to guess is a falafel. Hurry up and open Jez. We miss your balls!
The Bowler, opening 7 October, 1 Monmouth Street, WC2H 6DA
Polpo and Polpetto
The above-mentioned Russell Norman has been selling his own balls (no giggling at the back, please) in his chain of Polpo restaurants since they opened their first doors, having loved the trend he saw in New York. The Polpo menu now offers six varieties of meatball including spicy pork and fennel, and lamb and pistachio. The newly reopened Polpetto serves its meatballs on top of a pizette, or mini pizza/flatbread.
Balls and Company
This Soho based restaurant keeps it simple with choices of balls, sauces and sides. We particularly like the pork, ricotta, Parmesan and milk bread, and the salmon, dill and seeds. Chips are available as a side, too. Meatballs and chips. Now that’s one classy dinner. More balls are available on the dessert menu, in the form of choux balls with Purbeck ice cream — that’s ice cream made on the Dorset peninsula of Purbeck.
Balls and Company, 58 Greek Street, W1D 3DY
We’ve long been fans of the meatball subs from Capish? This Italian-American street food stall serves rich, red-sauced pork and beef meatballs inside sub rolls, melted with a blanket of provolone until there’s a whole lot of ooze going on. We like to add the homemade jalapeño sauce for a little extra spike.
Check website for locations
José Pizarro’s third tapas restaurant in Broadgate has some porky balls on the menu, specifically ibérico pork meatballs in a tomato and orange sauce. Ibérico pork is all the rage in Spanish restaurants right now but we’re pretty sure this is the first time we’ve seen it in a meatball. We're big fans of that bright sauce, too. Bravo, José!
José, 36 Broadgate Circle, EC2M 1QS