Meatballs at The Quality Chop House, 92-94 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3EA ** MEATBALLS IS NOW CLOSED**

Go nuts for Meatballs...

See what we mean about the French bistro vibe!

Wow, this place is special. We have been looking forward to coming to Meatballs for weeks, it’s not been open long but long enough for us to lust after it. Inspired by a visit to the Meatball Shop in New York, the owners pondered over the idea of creating a similar thing in London, then the grade two listed Quality Chop House came on the market and Meatballs was born.

It has kept the look and feel of the old restaurant, we couldn’t decide if the restaurant branding and the restaurant interior didn’t quite match up or if it was a stroke of genius. We felt like we were in a bistro in France as the candles flickered and Etta James ‘At last’ blasted out around us. Lovely. Ade even got all romantic on me, which doesn’t happen that often. Perhaps it was being back in Exmouth Market where we spent the morning after our wedding party back in July.

The specials - the food, not the band!

We found the waitress very helpful and knowledgeable. She suggested some dishes and we happily tried them all, she was spot on every time! We weren’t overly keen on the Blueberry gin and tonic £5.95 but the natural wine – Raisins Gaulois Beaujolais, France £4.75 for a small glass was lovely. We’ve not seen natural wine in restaurants (or shops for that matter) and although it’s pricer, if it stops my nasal passages narrowing so I can’t breathe and helps the hangover, I’m all for it.

Mother's ruin and tonic

3 meatball sliders, yum, yum and thrice yum!

Spinach & Bacon Salad - we are going to make this at home. We'll let you know how it goes.

Back to the food, we couldn’t work out what to order for quite some time, do we have ‘sides’ or ‘underneaths’? Eventually we decided. Ade ordered some Sliders -Beef and Ricotta with tomato sauce, Greek Lamb with a cucumber, dill and yogurt sauce and Pork, and rosemary with a parmesan cream sauce £5.95. The pork was his favourite by far, they weren’t the prettiest of sliders we’ve ever seen, more comfortingly homemade. The brioche bun added a sweetness that complimented the rich sauces, especially the parmesan and cream. Ade seemed to adore them judging by the noises he made – he was gutted that he didn’t order the Egg Pappardelle With parmesan cream sauce… I think he likes that sauce!

I, unfortunately couldn’t try them due to the cheese factor. We also ordered the Spinach & Bacon Salad with French beans & shallot vinaigrette as a side, which at £8.95 was startlingly more than the balls, it was gorgeous however and one we’re going to attempt to recreate at home.

Swedish meatballs... about 8 million times better that Ikea's offering!

I chose the guest meatballs – Swedish meatballs with redcurrant jelly £4.25 with spaghetti and tomato sauce £3.25 as an ‘underneath’. The waitress said it would be better as a ‘side’ as  they come in a beef broth. Again, not the most appetising-looking dish but so tasty, huge hunks of meatballs in a thick delicate beef broth. The tomato sauce was almost a bolognaise, pure comfort food. Nothing fancy, just good, honest home-cooking.

We prefered the malt shakes to the desserts

Dessert was also a tricky decision, Chocolate brownie ice cream sandwich with vanilla ice cream & dark chocolate sauce £4.95 or Frozen chocolate cake £4.95?  I left it to the waitress to decide and she suggested the former. It was good, basically a brownie and ice cream but the name livens it up. Ade had the special – Sticky Toffee Pudding £4.95, lovely but came cold, not warm like we expected. Ade’s Peanut butter malt £4.25 went down too well.

A flyer in a bus stop? Thick they should spend a little more on advertising!

We really hope to come back soon, plus we didn’t realise it’s only a quick trip on the No63 bus from work and we’re there. So close to Caravan which we have a real soft spot for.

What we loved most about Meatballs were the little touches, like the waitress bringing water automatically and refilling it regularly, the complimentary roasted nuts and the homemade foccacia perched on the side of my bowl of meatballs. I commented to Ade that the lights were too bright and seconds later they were dimmed, a coincidence or were we being bugged? It was a tad cold in the old restaurant though, a couple of diners (male) asked for the heating to be put on. I settled for my cardie.

Sitting here on a winter’s night with a glass of (natural) red wine and a bowl of steaming meatballs would be perfect.

If he could Ade would have licked the plate - really, he would!

Meatballs at The Quality Chop House
92-94 Farrington Road
London. EC1R 3EA
T: 020 3490 6228

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Takeaway also available.
Monday – Saturday 11.30am – 11.30pm

Sunday 12.00pm – 10pm