When it comes to meatballs in Singapore, IKEA is usually the first place that comes to mind — thanks to an affordable price point and a hint of nostalgia (who hasn’t bought a chair and ate at their restaurant out of convenience at least once in their lives?), the Swedish furniture company has become synonymous with the dish.
Popularity doesn’t necessarily equate to quality, however, and while IKEA’s rendition is decent enough, it certainly isn’t the best. It’s very much a “you get what you pay for” situation, and if you want some proper meatballs you’re going to have to look elsewhere.
And that’s where Club Meatballs comes in.
A Well-Rounded Dining Experience
Located in the heart of Telok Ayer, Club Meatballs strives to be a one stop shop for the CBD crowd, operating as not just a restaurant, but a café, bar, wine-cellar and co-working space as well.
For the past three years, the menu has consisted of tapas and Spanish-inspired meatball dishes, and it’s recently been revamped in an attempt to keep things fresh. With New York-based “millennial chef” La Mei Mei now at the helm, the cuisine has transformed into something described as “international comfort food with a meatball twist”.
“Comfort food” is a pretty apt description, because everything on the menu looks like something you’d want to eat on a bad day to cheer yourself up. The Mac N Cheese Balls ($12) are a good place to start, with its crispy exterior providing a satisfying crunch to reveal the cheesy macaroni within.
If you’re looking for something a little lighter, the Quinoa Salad ($15) is a solid choice as well, with its refreshing chunks of pomegranate and roasted pumpkin whetting your appetite before you move on to the main course.
And this is where your options really open up. Meatball lovers should head straight for The Baller Platter ($25-$35), which puts your choice of meatball — beef, pork, chicken, lamb, fish…they’ve got it all — and sauce on a bed of mashed potato. No matter which you choose, you can rest assured that they live up to the Club Meatball moniker, offering a big, juicy taste in a small package.
Need some carbs in your meal? You could also go for the CMB Spaghetti and Meatballs ($15), a classic dish which somehow manages to provide the comfort of a home-cooked meal.
If meatballs aren’t really your thing, the menu also includes less-heavy-but-equally-hearty alternatives like Shepherd’s Pie ($18) and Club Meatball Pizza ($22), and even a Tofu Steak ($20) for the vegetarians out there.
A personal favourite of ours is the Beer Braised Beef Short Rib ($28) which has been slow cooked to nothing short of perfection. The dark beer-infused meat is so tender that it pulls apart at the slightest touch, and the pairing with some creamy mashed potato make for an effortless bite that’s full of flavour. If you’re going to eat one dish here, this is the one.
On the drinks side of things, the bar provides the standard fare of beer, cocktails and spirits (prices can be found here), but remember that wine-cellar we mentioned earlier? The title might conjure images of things you couldn’t possibly afford, but bottles start from a surprisingly affordable $29, and go up to $259 for those who want something a little fancier.
Despite its meatball-centric name, Club Meatballs’ new menu proves that it can do a whole lot more than just that, offering a wide selection of comfort food while doubling up as a cozy place to hang out and get your Instagram on as well.
If you find yourself in the Telok Ayer area looking for something new to eat, this is definitely one place to check out.
Address: 22 Cross Street, #01-35 China Court Central, Singapore 048422
Opening Hours: 8am – 12pm (Mondays to Fridays), 10am – 10pm (weekends)
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(Header Image Source: Discover SG)