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A world food restaurant with a meatball theme.
Please note, Curveball has now closed. Time Out Food editors, March 2018.
It’s been dubbed a ‘meatball restaurant’. But while many of the dishes at this trendy SW12 newcomer do have a spherical element of some sort, it thankfully goes beyond the gimmick. Cooking is of the ‘world food’ school, with big and small plates from all corners of the globe.
The best dish – as long as you don’t mind heat – was a soft taco, layered with tender strips of Korean-spiced beef brisket, homemade kimchi and chipotle mayo. There wasn’t anything ball-shaped in it. Did that matter? Course not.
Also fine were chewy but full-flavoured lamb skewers (no balls) with a harissa yoghurt and preserved lemon relish. But a Vietnamese rice noodle salad with small prawn balls was bland and lacklustre. This one had balls, just not the right kind.
And while the small plates, if you get them as a multi-buy, are good value, a stodgy, comfort food ‘big plate’ of baked rigatoni with meatballs was overpriced for the quality.
Still, this is a funky little spot, with plants hanging from the ceiling (very ‘hanging gardens of Balham’) and achingly hip, if occasionally ditsy, staff. And let’s not forget: as one of the only food spots on pedestrian-only Hildreth Street to be open most evenings, the location is tough to beat.