Friday, 7 June 2013


135 Flinders Lane, Melbourne - ph: (03) 9654 7545

In search of somewhere cosy for a quick and warm lunch in the city, I came across Meatball & Wine Bar.

I only had an hour in total to catch up with a friend for lunch before heading back to work, but didn't want to go to a cafe or fast food joint. It's actually not that easy to find restaurants with a quick, inexpensive lunch menu in the 'Paris End' of town and I'm pretty sure that's why Meatball & Wine Bar is always so busy.

The concept is simple enough: 5 flavours of meatball to choose from (including one veg) + sauce + side for $18.

We were only able to get a spot in the share table by the time we arrived for lunch on a Wednesday. The restaurant was totally packed and I'm told the waiting time for a dinner table is even longer.

The place looks schmick with its new age interpretation of wooden tables and cabaret lights.

Service is fast, but unfortunately not very efficient. Our waiter takes forever to bring us water and gets our order mixed up with someone else's. The problem is quickly solved though, and I still have plenty of time to chat and eat my food once the right dishes arrive.

Here is what we ordered:

Chicken meatballs with tomato sauce and Italian beans

My chicken meatballs are tender and somewhat tasty, but don't really pack the punch I was expecting. The beans were nice - again, nothing memorable - and the focaccia was pretty dry. Not a bad dish, but definitely not something I'd come rushing back for.

Pork meatballs with pesto sauce and polenta

My friend's pork meatballs look a bit undercooked to me, but she enjoys them. She doesn't find the dish filling enough though. Even though she ordered the side of polenta (which she loved), she assures me there is still plenty of space for dessert after our meal.

So what's with all the hype? In my opinion, it's the combination of a quick, inexpensive meal is a place that looks 'proper' enough for a business lunch. There is nothing wrong with the food, but nothing special about it either.

Meatball & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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