Balls & Company, London

7.09.2015

Walking down the street, you can find burgers & lobsters on the left and chicken & steak on the right. Further down will be cereal café, around the corner is porridge café and more. Now to make the appearance of the perhaps a craze of ultra focused restaurant is the humble meatball. Balls & Company, Soho’s first gourmet meatball gaff.

Behind the brain of the kitchen is Australian-born chef Bonny Porter (a finalist on Australian Masterchef, who has worked at The Arts Club and Village East). The restaurant itself will seat 30 on the main floor and 20 downstairs which also have a basement bar. There was a small queue on the day I went, the turnaround time is actually quicker than expected.


Menu

Special Menu

Drinks Menu

The concise menu does exactly what it says on the tin, offering the choice of five varieties of ball served in Mauviel copper pans (eyes were shinning on the pans constantly) using the highest quality produces. A selection of sauces to choice from to accompanied the balls and of course seasonal sides and desserts.

Raspberry Cuba Libre and Blueberry Fizz

Snack

Tasty cocktails to start the evening but wished the alcohols was stronger and some snack to nibble on. The snack is sort of between crispy and poppadom, slightly salted,

Wagyu with Tomato 

Pork with Pesto

Salmon with Béchamel Sauce

Go for two plates of ball or if you're very hungry like us, three plates of ball between two carnivores . We can in fact eat for the nation. All balls are served in portion of fours with a sauce. Coarsely minced Wagyu beef meatballs cooked medium rare with the classic tomatio sauce, it was good and packed with meaty flavour. It is hard to complain to Wagyu, so keeping it simple is the best way to eat it. The pork is flavoured with ricotta, parmesan, milk bread, pine nuts, basil and sage. We went along with the waiter suggestion of pesto with the pork. It worked brilliantly, soft balls and garlicky pesto. Lastly was the salmon mixed with dill and seeds, with a creamy ricotta and parmesan béchamel sauce. I don't know if it was supposed to be slightly uncooked in the middle or not, indeed our salmon balls was still pink in the middle. It did not bother us much as we loved raw fish. It is hard to go wrong with fish and white sauce, which they did spot on. The consistency of the béchamel sauce is much thicker than normal but it made a good presentation on the balls and tasted lovely. All the balls we had was delicious, the sauces did not over flavour the balls itself. Equally the balls would have been fantastic on its own without the sauce as it was so flavoursome, the sauce is a great addition with the sides.

Spaghetti

Polenta Chips

Heirloom Tomato with Balsamic Pearls

When you think of meatballs, spaghetti would come up next in the thought. We had spaghetti for our sides, and being more adventurous with polenta chips rather than chips. They were both overly seasoned, too heavy handed with the salt beside that the polenta chips was very crisp and the crust is thicker than chips. Not ordering some sort of greens is just not me, we also had a side of heirloom tomato salad. The tomato was unbelievably different to the tomatoes found in the supermarket, it is juicier and stronger in tomato flavour. The balsamic pearls added extra fun to the dish.

Brownie 

By now, I'd lost the plot on how full I am already and still went ahead with a dessert. The irresistible brownie with Persian fairy floss and Purbeck vanilla bean ice cream. It feels like a kid again having candy floss (or fairy floss, hi Australian). Persian fairy floss (pashmak) is a variation of candy floss made from sesame and sugar, and resembles sheep's wool so look wise is different. The texture of the brownie is on the gooey side and not that crumbly. Hidden underneath the floss is a scoop of ice cream. It was a good satisfying dessert, not so good my waistline I know unfortunately.

With all these new ultra focused restaurants, some are stepping out as winners and I think Ball & Company is a success. It's a new restaurant and improvements are needed on the service, overall it was friendly and attentive. The small menu means it can focus on the quality of the ingredients and play on the creativeness on making delicious ball (minus the salt). Who knew meatballs can be so playful?

Score: 3/5
Price: £20/head (50% soft launch, £38.76 for two people)

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