This Nostalgic New Sydney Restaurant is a Love Letter to the Meatball

Photo: Dexter Kim

The star of the Palle story—the meatball—is inspired by more than just a Maiale family recipe; it’s the start of a global movement, a coming together of friends and family over humble recipes—at least that’s what Chef Eugenio Maiale told us at the opening night of Palle.

Maiale is the founder of A Tavola and Flour Eggs Water, and now the cheerful new eatery, Palle, presiding in the Tramsheds. Palle translates to ball, which is the only food you will find on the menu here, besides a serving of loaded fries, which are covered in an addictive sauce— you can’t help lick off your fingers.

The comfort food is reimagined here, so don’t expect just to eat one type of meatball. Instead, think of it as a meatball degustation. Start with Ascos, a meat-stuffed olive, breaded and fried, before moving on to a ball filled with mushroom, rice and topped with almond skordalia—think of it as arancini.

There’s also a salt cod and potato meatball, served with aioli because not all meatballs should be beef. Although, the meatball sub is a classic, comfort food and one that deserves your attention. The tender lamb balls served on a bed of tzatziki are a crowd pleaser and game-changer, if I may say. Even the meatballs in brodo (broth) are delicious and remind me of matzo ball soup—warms the soul.

Although, when it comes to the star— the reason to go— has to be the spaghetti and meatballs. The house-made spaghetti is cooked al dente—the real al dente that requires a bite, then twirled in a delicious marinara sauce, topped with mama’s meatballs. The recipe is a family secret, and after tasting it, I want to join the family. Don’t forget to order a side of garlic bread.

Each meatball is either served as a set of two or a bucket of 12, so you can bring the family and share, or bring a date and have a romantic, meatball-filled night.

 “Mum’s recipe was basic, but it was full of sustenance and love. It took a pandemic to make me wonder why the meatball has taken a backseat in the dining scene. Palle is all about bringing back comfort, nostalgia, and love, in a fun and playful way. Mixed with a caring hand, rolled with intention, and baked or fired ready for the grand finale—meatballs spark joy and they scream love and good times!,” said Maiale.

For dessert, you guessed it more balls. This time in the form of bombolini, filled with everything from dulce de leche and Nutella, to raspberry and lemon curd. The little warm, soft sweet dough balls are the perfect way to end the dining experience.

Whether you decide to dine in with friends or family, take out, or indulge in delivery. It’s fun, it’s different, it’s nostalgic, it’s modern dining with a bit more balls (literally). 

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