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9 September 2011

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Last week, the ever-reliable Daily Candy recommended a new Clerkenwell restaurant called Meatballs in last week's weekend guide for London. It only opened last week and as it wasn't too much of a jaunt from King's Cross, we paid a visit one lunchtime this week. Before this year I had never eaten meatballs; after nine years of vegetarianism, it still took me a while to get into the whole meat-with-sauce type dishes, such as bolognese. But thanks to the combined efforts of Stockholm and Spuntino, I discovered that they are essentially like mini burgers, especially when they come slider style, in tiny buns.

Meatballs, which is located on the site of The Quality Chop House, on the Farringdon Road. "Meatballs is now proud to make its home at The Quality Chop House and welcome a new generation of working class Londoners," they say on their website. "The only difference is that our customers are now mostly working at a computer." And indeed, the decor is a quirky combination of working men's club and 1950s diner, with plenty of trendy, meedya-friendly fonts thrown in for good measure.

There are a few salads on the menu but if you don't like meatballs, you're really better off choosing another restaurant, although there are some veggie options. You can choose three balls for £3.95 or have them as sliders in mini-buns for £5.95. I went for porky and rosemary, chicken, and one of the current guest ball, Swedish meatballs. I'm not sure what meat was used in the Swedish ball and I also think the waitress misheard and gave me two pork instead of one pork and one chicken, but all three were very tasty. We also had some of the honey and thyme carrots on the side but there was definitely no need for further carbs and I was very full for the rest of the day.

This is partly because they also serve milkshakes (hence the '50s diner feel), and inevitably, I opted for the peanut butter one. Were it not lunchtime, I would definitely have liked to try the blueberry gin and tonic; the chocolate brownie ice cream sandwich, the frozen chocolate cake and the minted lemonade also need sampling on future visits because I will definitely be back. Oh, and they do takeaway too, which could be useful if the English weather doesn't jump straight from summer to Arctic winter again this year.

Meatballs at The Quality Chop House. 92-94 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3EA (Tube: Farringdon). Website. Twitter.

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