I love Bar 31K and their meatballs, they really are some of the best I have had the good fortune to have eaten on my on my travels near and far.
It is hard to believe that 31K have just reached their 2nd anniversary of opening, but this last week they passed that milestone. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I had met them when they were gutting out the place and building the bar! Some weeks later I had my first meal there (read more here) and have been in a few times since when I was in the mood for some spherical food action.
Bar 31k had been high up on my list for a post lockdown meal so this weekend we were taking our chance. This place was not just pencilled in on the list, I had used a permanent marker!
Having said that I do usually end up getting more or less the same thing, but I like the illusion that I might have something different. Spoiler alert I nearly always just get the classic meatball (I love it)
While we were both picking our combinations selecting one of the two meat options, I was pleased to see that 50% of the ball action on offer were non-meat based, that means that I can share this place with my Veggie mates, or rather it means that they can share it with me! note to them “I found it first!”
My Ball of choice was the classic ‘meatball’ which they describe as ‘our own signature blend of beef, lamb, and pork mince‘. It really is a very good mixture of meats as well. always moist, juicy and well seasoned.
I chose to have this with the Arrabiata sauce which was actually decently spicy, not too hot though, just very noticeable and well worth the tingle in my mouth.
The menu says that the sauce was set up from ‘tomato sauce with garlic, chili, oregano and balsamic‘ all I can say is that it’s one of the best of it’s type I have had in town (I think I said that last I blogged too).
I also had chips and a green salad which went pretty well with the meatballs and the sauce.
The menu described the chips as being ‘rough-cut salt-and-pepper fries, crispy outside and fluffy inside‘ which I thought was a somewhat dramatic and perhaps generous description.
I mean don’t get me wrong they really are pretty good fries and I thoroughly enjoyed them, but someone went to the school of selling fries when they wrote that (and why not indeed chaps, go for it !)
LAMB KOFTA MEATBALL
Mum had the ‘lamb kofta’ which were reported to be ‘lean meatballs packed with garlic, mint and coriander’. For some reason I had expected these to be kind of mini-kofta shaped like little sausages, but they were spherical too, I suppose just as you would expect from something listed in the ‘ball’ column
Sauce wise adding the ‘tzatziki’ detailed as being ‘cucumber, mint and garlic in a cooling almond yoghurt‘. Now this turned out to be a really excellent companion for that lamb kofta ball. I loved this sauce too, really light, well balanced flavours and refreshing on the palate.
The kofta balls were very easy to eat, they were much softer than I expected them to be. All the flavours of garlic, mint and coriander were present, but none out shone the other so it was all quite harmonious
We had both had the mixed-leaf ‘spinach and green leaves with a summer vinaigrette‘ to add to the chips to be our ‘carb’ and ‘greens’ options. The salad clearly just being a nod towards a small modicum of healthiness alongside those chips. To be fair though to the salad it was a jolly nice one, and not just an extra thought.
The Menu offering of BALL, SAUCE, CARB, and GREENS is £10 but £8 at lunch. I recall that it was £7 when I first visited so it’s gone up a bit.
You do get your food in a nice bowl now with real knives and forks instead of in a cardboard box with wooden forks so I guess times have changed.
It is still worth the money, although I was happier with the lunchtime price offer 🙂
Bar 31K won the “Best New Bar/Pub” at the The Nottingham Restaurant & Bar Awards in 2019 and also in the same year won the “Best Drinks Venue” at the NottinghamLive Food and Drinks awards.
It is easy to see why as they have created a great space that is bright and welcoming. They also serve great food and drinks, but they also have those little touches that make them stand out from the crowd.
One of those was just bringing iced water to our table when we sat down without even being asked. They were doing table service with ease, even before lockdown and are so slick with that service that you feel as if you are the only table in the place.
Bar 31K is located at 31 Goosegate in Hockley Nottingham NG1 1FE.
Inside hangs the sign of a former occupant toolmaker TS Kaye. It is really cool and I am glad that they kept it