Mon – Fri: Breakfast to Late
Sat – Sun: Brunch to Late
Coffee: Dukes Coffee Roasters
Other: Tea by Storm in a Teacup
“I love dealing with complexity, whether being involved in a class action, or executing a complex dish. There is something truly satisfying when you have a deep understanding of the issues at hand. When consuming a multi-layered, complex dish, I tend to stare intently for some time, infatuated as I attempt to rationalise how it was constructed.
I always find it surprising when I’m asked what my favorite dishes are. My response is always a dish that is simplistic in its preparation. Take Mamasita for example. One of my favorite dishes is their grilled corn, which is simply grilled corn on the cob with house made chili mayo, topped with cheese. It’s both delicious and highly addictive. The meatball is another staple menu item which comes from simplistic roots and is commonly used in spaghetti. A non-complex, succulent meatball can turn any frown upside down, but can it be incorporated as a brunch item? We were invited to find out at The Meatball & Wine Bar‘s soft launch of its breakfast/brunch menu.
The space itself had all the characteristics of a winning cafe. On the outside it looks nothing more than just an ordinary restaurant. Once you enter inside, you are transported into a wonderful and individual space. The interior walls have been stripped back to their bare brickwork providing a true rustic atmosphere, which is accentuated by the lower-level lighting. There are cool booth-like spaces where smaller groups can mingle together and for those going solo there’s a cool and welcoming bar table. The mystic back walls gives the space a greater depth and allows for the wine cabinet to be the center piece. In terms of decor, The Meatball & Wine Bar has certainly nailed it considering there is little to none natural light.
It was time to get rolling with the coffee and food order. The coffee here is sourced by Dukes Coffee Roasters and the quality was impressive for a restaurant. One of my biggest issues with restaurant is that typically after a great meal, the quality of the coffee, leaving me with a burnt coffee that can only be described as being servo quality. Imagine my palate after that! My Long Black [$3.50] was a smooth, decent coffee with a slight nectarine flavour throughout. Whilst I struggled to identified any distinguishing aromas, there was certainly no bitterness to be found. As a well-executed restaurant coffee, it certainly got me excited for brunch!
As we discussed what the day ahead had in store for us, Miss SL’s curiosity to the method, execution and endless variety of the breakfast balls was getting the best of her. It had been thumping down with rain and I foolishly rode my bike into work before brunch, so I wanted something warm and hearty. Baked eggs are a common brunching option, typically served the same way between one cafe to another. Baked Eggs & Ball with beans [$12.50] had me intrigued and its delivery was impressive.
The meatballs were perfectly rolled and stuffed with lovely, tangy spices. Fresh lemon thyme was also added creating a love affair of flavours that lingered in the back of palate. The fresh tomato sauce had the right level of sweetness and was perfectly completed by the beans, meatballs and baked eggs. The sourdough was perfect to mop-up the extra sauce. This meal was perfectly executed and very filling – definitely a workday brunch must-try.
The Meatball & Wine Bar has created its own competitive theme and vision within the restaurant-heavy topside of Flinders lane. With the key theme being meatballs, it surely won”t disappoint for brunch, lunch or dinner. So… who’s up for some meat balls?”
“The headquarters of my work (no, not the Brunch Addict Headquarters) is located in the CBD – North side. Now, everyone knows that, other than places for fancy dinners, the North side of the CBD is not useful in terms of acquiring good coffee or trendy brunch places. The European, a much loved blogger staple and Fair Trader are my only potentials and in all honesty, I’ve done Fair Trader to death. I was therefore surprised when we got the invite from The Meatball & Wine Bar, an establishment near the infamous Chin Chin - invited us to brunch.
It was quite possibly the wettest day of summer when we arrived and the city was storming. As rain bucketed down, threatening to collapse my umbrella, I saw a sign glistening up ahead, reading “MEATBALLS”. Surely, this was the place. Ducking inside, I was immediately warmed by the atmosphere. Relaxed, dry, and welcoming, this little restaurant was akin to an open fire in a beautiful lodge during winter.
The breakfast menu offering is quite new to The Meatball & Wine Bar – perhaps only a month old as of the publishing of this blog, but brand new when we were invited for the launch. We took a seat for two and got on to ordering our coffees; I opted for a double espresso [$3.50] so I could enjoy the Dukes Coffee Roaster blend. Something I really love about Dukes coffee is the complexity and body of the flavour. This often forces me to slow down as I drink my morning cupful and really savor the sips I have. My Dukes coffee was sweet and had a hint of nectar and lemon, resulting in a sweet but tangy flavour.
For those don’t like coffee, they also offer tea by Storm In a Teacup.
The concept for the menu was really something unique compared to many other cafes and restaurants, where you essentially ‘choose your own adventure’ for breakfast. There were different selections of breakfast balls (reconstructed scrambled eggs, molded into balls) that you could match with a selection of 3 sauces and a side. Customisable breakfast galore!
I felt it would be wrong to come to a place that specialised in meatballs and not try a breakfast ball, so after much pondering I decided to go for the Egg charred corn & aged cheddar balls with White hollandaise [$9] add avocado [$4]. When they came out, they were smaller than expected but intriguing and enticing non-the-less.
The minute I tasted one of these breakfast balls I was in heaven. The aged cheddar had such a powerful taste and it really created an incredibly salty yet earthy flavour that was balanced out by the scrambled egg.
The hollandaise sauce was interesting because it had little to no lemon zest in the sauce. This was to its advantage, as it made the sauce more versatile so that it could match any of the breakfast balls customers selected – clever! Personally, I felt the creaminess of the hollandaise complimented the saltiness of the aged cheddar, acting as a winning combination. The avocado was really simple and cooling. The sprinkle of sea salt on the top of the avocado really brought out the freshness and tied it together with the breakfast balls.
Wandering around the venue to take some cheeky snaps, we ran into some other food bloggers also sampling the new menu, including Gastronomel and Amy’s Town. They seemed to really be enjoying their meals.
The Meatball & Wine Bar have done an exceptional job in transitioning into the breakfast scene. The service was impeccable, the atmosphere was casual yet intimate. The food and coffee – the two most important factors – were delicious and right on the money. This place is worth the visit for a pre-work breakfast or a weekend pop-in for a unique brunch.”
Final thought: “Pick your own adventure with reconstructed breakfast balls.. suitable for any fussy eater”