Balls and Company, the first Soho restaurant to offer a gourmet meatball focused menu, will open this June on Greek Street.The 50-cover restaurant is the brainchild of Australian-born chef Bonny Porter, who having worked at top restaurants in her home country including Rockpool Bar and Grill and Manly Wine by Gazebo (both in Sydney, Australia) and becoming a finalist in the Australian MasterChef TV series, moved to London two years ago, where she has since worked in the kitchen at The Arts Club in Mayfair and Village East in Bermondsey.
Bonny and her team hope to bring something completely new to the London casual dining scene, shaking up the current meat-heavy ‘dude food’ trend in the capital with a bit of class, pomp and circumstance. The humble meatball has for a long time been locked into memories of average spaghetti dishes, bad school dinners and visits to Ikea; with Balls and Company, Bonny hopes to add a touch of finesse and elevate them to culinary excellence, all with a commitment to freshness, provenance and traceability.
The concise meatball menu at Balls and Company will offer diners the choice of five varieties of ball, all using the highest quality meat produce and ingredients. Varieties served in Mauviel copper pans will include ‘Wagyu beef’, ‘Confit salmon’ and ‘Quinoa, beetroot & feta’, each served in portions of four and affordably priced below £8. Diners will then be able to choose a sauce to accompany the balls, tailoring their dining experience to their own taste. Sauces will range from the classic tomato sauce to the more robust ‘Romesco with red pepper, almonds, hazelnuts & garlic’. And with a nod to the ‘dude food’ movement, Balls & Company will also offer a range of sliders (£8), served as a trio in soft mini brioche buns with options including ‘Wagyu, tomato jam, gruyere & pickles’, ‘Chicken with Sugo, ricotta bechamel & aubergine’ and ‘Pork with romesco, aioli & charred radicchio’. The menu will also offer a revolving selection of elegant seasonal side dishes such as ‘Mac & Cheese’ or ‘Fennel & fontina’ arancini, gratins of celeriac through to Potato Dauphinoise, as well as a variety of purees, chips and salads (from £4). A short but sweet dessert menu will include treats such as the ‘Persian fairy floss topped brownie’ and ‘Choux balls’ served with Purbeck ice-cream (from £5).
Split across two floors, the ground floor at Balls and Company will be exclusively for dining, seating up to 30 guests, whilst downstairs will be a more intimate space, with a bar and dining for up to 20. The basement bar will serve a carefully chosen wine list, with a focus on family-owned and sustainable vineyards from across the world, all of which will be available by the glass, carafe and bottle (prices from £4 a glass, £10 a carafe and £20 a bottle) as well as craft beers and a range cocktails, plus White, Red or Rose Sangria, served by the jug at £18.
Paying homage to Bonny’s home country, the interior of Balls & Company brings a little bit of Australia to Soho, with a laid-back, stylish and inviting design. On the ground floor, uber-cool design duo Holly Pigott and Madeleine Girling have embraced natural light, complimented by touches of greenery, with sporadic glints of copper as homage to Mauviel. The basement room offers a more edgy underground vibe perfect for casual drinks and nibbles with friends. The design of the restaurant is given an additional edge with an impressive ceiling installation inspired by British-Indian sculptor, Anish Kapoor, and his works creating illusions through refracting light and sound.