After my visit to The Meatball and Wine Bar in Melbourne, I was looking forward to the meatball trend making its way to Sydney eventually. Sure enough, this has arrived sooner than I expected with opening of The Original Meatball Company (OMC) back in July with lengthy queues of hungry office workers getting excited over free (meat)balls.
I was greeted at the door by Dominic, who is one of the co-owners of OMC (along with Jay Lyon) and also the former owner of the widely renowned Gelatissimo. While it's interesting seeing him swapping gelato for meatballs, it was lovely speaking with him about his vision of bringing a meatball-dedicated eatery to Sydney after his trip to New York. Although the queues were much less intense than the opening days, it was still quite busy due to the peak lunch hour. The space was small with limited seating so it's usually ideal to grab take-away.
It was cool watching the action of the open kitchen as the staff dishes out lots of meatballs and packing them into the buns with other fillings and sauces. I also got to check out the making of the OMC signature poutine fries with ragu and Parmesan cream sauce. Looks like a guilty pleasure.
The Yankee ($11.90)
There was so much to try even from the balls on a bun (aka 'Heroes') menu alone especially with the many available fillings. The first dish that I tasted was The Yankee, which contains beef balls, American mustard, ketchup, cheddar cheese, sweet pickles, onion and shredded iceberg lettuce served on a brioche bun. Reminded me of those traditional American hot dogs that you would get on the streets of New York. The beef balls were juicy and tender qhile the overall bun had a zesty, sour and sweet flavour from the many ingredients. Very messy to handle.
Mamma's Balls ($10.90)
The Geisha ($10.90)
Sadly, my stomach gave way on my first visit so I returned again recently to try a couple other dishes. If the buns were too much for you to handle especially when you are cutting down carbs, OMC has a generous selection of salad bowls to choose from. Based on the staff recommendation, I decided on The Geisha. This is a Japanese-inspired dish which includes chicken balls with teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, cucumber, toasted sesame seeds, served on shredded iceberg lettuce. The chicken balls were tasty and had an interesting flavour from the teriyaki sauce that reminded me of a meaty takoyaki. The salad was quite creamy particularly from the mayo though the lettuce does give an added crunch.
Cookie Crumble Shake: Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie with Milk Chocolate Ice Cream ($5.90)
The one thing I regretted not trying on the first visit was the Cookie Crumble milkshakes. You get the choice of playing mix and match with cookies (dark choc chip, macadamia and white choc chip, sticky date, brandy snap) and ice cream (milk choc, classic vanilla, salted caramel, espresso) for this shake. You also decide on whether you want to get one of each for $5.90, 2 cookies of your choice with one scoop of ice cream for $6.90, or 3 cookies and 2 scoops of ice cream for $8.90. I played it simple and went with Dark Chocolate Chip cookie with Milk Chocolate ice cream. Very surprised at how much I enjoyed this shake. So thick, creamy and not too sweet with lots of cookie chunks settling at the base that tasted even better when mixed with ice cream. Should try the shake with salted caramel ice cream next time.
While the Meatball and Wine Bar has a bar-like atmosphere that would have been suitable for after work drinks or late night dining, OMC is primarily aimed as a casual lunch spot for those working around the area - though it does open for dinner on Thursday and Friday evenings. The service was quick and friendly from my experience so far and the prices are reasonable since you can get full on one of their dishes alone. It is located on the same block as Baker Bros so you can also grab your coffee while digging into the meatballs whether you are eating at this joint or taking your lunch back to work.
Disclaimer: The Random Foodie dined as a guest of Original Meatball Company, courtesy of Carlii from Carlii Lyons Public Relations. The Random Foodie also made a further visit where The Geisha Salad Bowl and the Cookie Crumble Shake were independently paid for. Opinions are however, my own.
Original Meatball Company
Shop 3, 56-58 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 8213 0213
Mon-Wed: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Thurs-Fri: 9:00am - 9:30pm