OOOH, I love a good meatball and I like to think that I make a decent bowl of pasta and meatballs. So when I heard that Harrogate would have its very own restaurant specialising in meatballs to say I was dead excited was a bit of an understatement!! The Yorkshire Meatball Company was the place to promise the goods in the form of the meatball variety, and I for one was looking forward to the anticipation of feasting on delicious meatballs!!
Harrogate is full of good restaurants, but this place is bringing an original concept and the first of its kind in the UK. Found a short walk from Harrogate train station the place is very easy to find with a central location. I loved the warm and inviting interior, with its quirky lighting pendants made from colanders and cheese graters an amusing touch.
We were give a warm welcome by Gareth Atkinson, the son of the father and son duo who’ve brought this restaurant to Harrogate and went through the menu with us. Part of their ethos is to bring the humble meatball to the North using local ingredients to create a tasty and innovative menu based on 6 meatball varieties. There’s the mix ‘n’ match combo where ‘ball’ varieties are combined with ‘beds’ (sides) and ‘blankets’ (sauce). There’s also ‘Naked Balls’ (Salads), ‘Squashed Balls’ (Burgers) and ‘Tasters’ (individual Balls served in a mini brioche bun with an accompanying Blanket), Small Plates and Sides.
Obvious innuendos aside, the menu combinations seem endless and have something to offer everyone, especially as the menu caters for full-on meat eaters, non-meat and gluten free diners too.
To drink, a number of Yorkshire Ales from a selection of the regions microbreweries have been selected, such as Wharfebank Brewery and Hop Studio Brewery. A short, but concise list of house and ‘posh’ wines are on offer too, on this occasion I was on soft drinks, but I did notice their nifty little wine dispenser for serving wines by the glass! Of course non-alcoholic drinks are a must in this family friendly restaurant, so to accompany the usual soft drinks, they’ve carefully sourced a range of Yorkshire produced cordials from Side Oven Bakery, baked in Foston on the Wolds. I tried the Elderflower cordial which was lovely, summery and very refreshing. Great on what was a gloriously sunny Sunday.
I started with a Taster fish ball which Gareth had recommended. It was a yummy few mouthfuls, the fish ball had a delicate golden breadcrumbed crust, a lovely light lemon sauce, all in a lightly toasted Brioche bun that was just the right size (bread supplied by Truly Scrumpious, Blubberhouses). The fish (supplied by Inshore Fisheries, Redcar) itself was tasty, nicely seasoned and had spring onions running through it giving it a delicate onioniness….apologies if that’s not an actual word, I couldn’t think of a better one! Highly enjoyable and I could have eaten loads of them.
For the main course, as soon as the special of Lamb and Rosemary meatballs was mentioned my choice was made, and I’m so glad as it was excellent!!
The meatballs were succulent and full of flavour (meat supplied by Sykes House Farm, Wetherby), perfectly cooked with a lovely crust on the exterior, meaty but not overworked so they still had give. The dauphinoise potatoes were spot on, thinly sliced with a hint of garlic running through it and just enough cream, and was surrounded by a glossy, rich redcurrant sauce. Oh, I nearly forgot the Yorkshire pudding was pretty good too, and the deep fried rosemary was great for adding a hit of pungency on demand.
My dining companion seemed to enjoy her lunch every bit as much as I did, as she couldn’t find fault in it anywhere.
We had a little bit of room left for dessert and The Yorkshire Meatball Company have got that covered too with their ‘Skewered Balls’, which come in the form of ‘Brownie Balls, ‘Cheesecake Balls’ and ‘Profiter Balls’. They were kind enough to allow us a little sampler of all three. Out of the three our favourite was the Brownie Ball, which surprised me as I’m not the biggest chocolate fan, it was good because it was an ice cream rolled in dark chocolate crumbs. They get their excellent ice-cream from Brymor Ice Cream Parlour near Brimham Rocks, where Gareth used to visit as a youngster.
I can see myself coming back time and time again, they have a multitude of combinations so it’ll take me a while to work my way through ALL of them!
They even have a Brunch menu, including Balls Benedict which I think may gain legendary status – a pork ball served in a brioche breakfast bun with a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce, it sounds like a winner to me!
I’d definitely recommend The Yorkshire Meatball Company and am looking forward to my next visit!
Disclaimer: I was invited to try the menu, so the meal was a complimentary one, this was in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.The Yorkshire Meatball Company 7 Station Bridge Harrogate 07525 206081 http://theymco.com