Single-item restaurant trend, meatballs the latest trend to hit Australia

Posted by Kate Carey on 27th September 2012

Minced meat is not just the basis for some of the world’s biggest fast food chain menus. Hamburgers may be a mass-produced meat product, but boutique restaurants around the world are also exploring the single-item menu theme.

In recent years, there has been a definite trend in both the USA and Australia market for single-item restaurants. Having seen cupcake, hotdog and schnitzel specific restaurants pop up everywhere, the latest niche seems to be the meatball.

The latest addition to Melbourne’s fashionable, foodie Flinders Lane, The Meatball and Wine Bar, has been serving up creative varieties of the meatball. Offering beef, pork, chicken, fish and even vegetarian ‘meat’ balls, it is clear that the classic ‘ball of ground meat’ has come a long way.

Melbourne is regarded by many as the heart of the Australian leisure eating lifestyle.

Meatball restaurants have already sprung up in some US cities. Some have been very successful while others have not. Location, excellent recipes and strong marketing initiatives are evidently the factors behind those that were successful.

The meatball allows for considerable ingredient choices – playing with types of meat, and different spices, sauces and sides to update this common comfort food.

Debatably, a key to the success of the single-item restaurant can be its simplicity . A simplified menu keeps costs low, and makes it easier to provide consistency. Similarly, keeping the demographic simplified allows for return customers who simply love the menu item.

Melbourne’s Meatball and Wine bar may have got the meatball rolling, but probably won’t be the last place to offer creative versions of well-known comfort dishes.