A menu featuring meatballs is a boon in my book, so a menu comprised entirely of meatballs is nothing less than a culinary windfall. Kris Schiller has put all his eggs in one basket, or rather all his meatballs in one polpetteria, which is located amongst a potluck of eateries on Sydney’s Enmore Road.
Ballers Polpetteria is little more than a hole in the wall with a few high tables and stools and a colourful graffiti-style mural across one interior wall. It’s a jackpot find. A menu is sketched floor to ceiling towards the back of the restaurant where orders are taken. Beyond is the kitchen, where meatball magic is underway.
Schiller has covered all the Italian-American meatball basics: customers choose from classic beef, spicy pork, chicken, vegetarian, or “special” meatballs, pair them with tomato, spicy tomato, cream, pesto, or “special” sauce ($9), and bolster them up with a side dish of polenta, mash, white beans, rigatoni, spaghetti, chips, green vegetables, roasted vegetables, or salad ($5).
Jazz it up by ordering meatballs as a “slider” ($5), which is one meatball and one sauce on a toasted milk bun with grated parmesan, as a “smash” ($14) — two meatballs and one sauce on a toasted milk bun with mozarella or provelone cheese, or as a “sub” ($11) which comprises three meatballs and one sauce with mozarella or provelone cheese on a toasted sourdough baguette. Add chips or salad to your ‘balls and buns’ for $4. It’s meatball heaven, frankly.
You can make your sub or smash a meal deal with the addition of a soft drink. There’s a kid’s menu and craft beers, ciders and wine on the menu, too. Dessert doesn’t make it beyond ice cream.
Dishes are rustic rather than refined, interesting rather than run-of-the-mill, and slam dunked full of flavour. Expertly cooked meatballs are a tribute to Schiller’s specialist menu approach: there’s much to be said for honing one’s skills rather than spreading them too thin.
That Schiller, the sole owner, comes from a stockbroking rather than a cheffing background accentuates his meatball maestro status. He’s nailed the brief: fast-casual meatballs that don’t compromise on taste or quality.
In a city run riot with casual eateries opening a single-focus joint of this kind takes balls, which Schiller has by the menu-full.
178 Enmore Road
(02) 9557 6665