Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Chillin at Club Meatballs in China Square Central

It's Wednesday and that just means we're halfway through the week! Seriously, seeing how your work week goes is pretty much the same as whether you see a glass of water half-empty or half-full. I'd rather take the more positive side and focus on the fact that weekend is near!

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While we both love our careers, there are just days when you find the need to chill. Not that you have no work to do but rather, work has become so crazy that you just need that 5...10...minute breather to say "stop the world, I'm going on a break!" 

Paul and I had that kind of moment a few weeks ago and it was just perfect timing that we got an invite to check out Club Meatballs in China Square Central. Now, how cool is that?! We got there quite early. Too eager to eat and drink already, I guess. Our meal began with a glass of martini each. We went on a Tuesday and they were having a Martini Night promotion where you can enjoy a glass of martini for just S$10!

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We had the Coffee Martini as well as the Cucumber Martini. For the Coffee Martini, they made use of beans from Club Meatball's sister restaurant/cafe -- Sarnies, so except a robust and bold coffee flavor in every sip. It may not be the kind that would sit well with those who likes their martini sweet though but if you're the kind who loves coffee, then this might be for you. Whereas the Cucumber Martini was very refreshing and yummy. I personally liked this a lot and I think it's the kind that I'd order again and again. Cheers!

Together with our drink, we ordered a couple of sharing plates too. Let me showcase them one by one:

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Spanish tortilla con onion y pa amb tomaquet (S$13.50)
If you hear "tortilla" I'm pretty sure visions of that white burrito wrapper would come to mind. Well in Spain, tortilla comes in the form of a Spanish omelette with potato. I've seen how Pan tried to cook this at home and I tell you, it's not as easy as we would think it would be. That said, let's leave it to the experts to give us this yummy tasting Spanish tortilla, shall we?

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Pincho de chorizo con pimientos y burrata cheese (S$17)
When I saw this on the menu, I knew I had to try it. I'm really crazy over anything with burrata just the same way I go gaga over truffle oil so even if I'm not a fan of green peppers or chorizo, I still went for it. The verdict? It was good! The creamy burrata perfectly complemented the salty punch of the chorizo and the pepper was nice spicy at all. I like how well put together this dish was. Normally, I shy away from these types of starters with toasts as I feel the flavors are just all over the place. Well, that's definitely not the case here.

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Pulpo a la parilla & pork papada with trinxat de la Cerdanya (S$23)
Friends, this was the dish that won my heart. What's there not to love? Fragrant and tender grilled octopus paired with crunchy sous vide pork jowl that melts in your mouth. All sitting on top of a nice bed of smashed vegetables that to me tasted so much like creamy mashed potato. It was amazing! This is one thing you should never miss when dining at Club Meatballs.

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Calamarcitos a la plancha with eggplant escalivada en su tinta (S$17)
Upon learning that this dish came with eggplant, I initially had my hesitations. You see, I never liked eggplant and it's one of those many weird food items that I refused to eat. But that evening, I was game to try. However, I told Paul : "If this eggplant is yucky, I'm swearing off eggplants forever!" Ok, so first I tried the grilled squid which was very good. It had this strong smokey flavor but contrary to most grilled squid, the chef has managed to make this very tender and not chewy nor rubbery. Moving on to the eggplant, I took a teeny-tiny slice and tasted nothing. Okay fine, I have to do this again. My next slice was much bigger and carefully I took a bite. I'm not going to lie, the texture of the eggplant is still something I have to get used to but I'm glad that it also had a good smokey flavor which totally made up for the fact that I just ate a piece of eggplant! Will I try it again? Definitely!

As the name suggests it, Club Meatballs serves... meatballs! Lots and lots of it. What makes it fun is you can DIY your own Meatball Bowl (S$14).

First, choose the type of "ball" that you'd like to have -- 100% Australian Grass Fed Beef with Fresh Thyme, Iberico Pork and Fennel, Free Range Chicken with Coriander and Cumin, Fresh Salmon with Dijon, Coriander and Mint and lastly, Chickpea, Spinach and Chili. They basically covered everything from the three main meat groups to seafood to veggie!

After choosing your "balls", you decide what goes below it. They have choices from oven roasted vegetables to parmesan risotto and italian pappadelle too. Finally, you choose the sauce to drizzle your "balls" with -- classic homemade pesto, creamy truffle mushroom, classic tomato with Spanish paprika or perhaps some salsa verde with anchovies? There are a lot of choices and combinations to experiment with.

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For us, we went with the 100% Australian Grass Fed Beef with Fresh Thyme on Parmesan Risotto and topped with creamy truffle mushroom. To be honest, I found the flavor of the mushroom too strong and when paired with the parmesan risotto, it just made the whole dish too heavy and rich. Perhaps, on my next visit, I'll try the Salmon balls with Italian Pappadelle and Pesto Sauce. Yum!

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Of course, we had to end our meal with dessert. We tried the Bombetas de Chocolate (S$12) which is one of Club Meatball's best-sellers. Imagine orange chocoalate truffle wrapped in deep-fried filo pastry. So watch as the chocolate "lava" spills out of the shell as you take your first bite.

It was a night well-spent at Club Meatballs. The best part is, it's totally budget-friendly! If you noticed, most of the dishes are priced below S$20 except for just 3 dishes on the menu which is still not over-the-top expensive. Plus, if you have The Entertainer App then you can avail of a 1-for-1 deal as well! Furthermore, I was told that all tables and chairs may be bought straight away so if you fancy any furniture pieces or decor in the restaurant, just ask your friendly server how to purchase it. Cool huh?!

*photos by Paul Ang

Club Meatballs is located at 20 Cross Street, 01-35 China Square Central, Singapore 048422. Call them at 6222-8660. 

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