Review: Palle, Forest Lodge

Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 11 May 2022

There’s a new venue in Sydney’s Inner West dedicated to meatballs – say no more!

Palle is the new food joint bringing the carefree Italian attitude to Sydney’s Inner West Tramsheds dining precinct with a boutique menu made up entirely of meatballs. 

Chef and Founder, Eugenio Maiale is expanding his Italian restaurant portfolio (A Tavola and Flour Eggs Water) to include Palle, Sydney’s meatball joint. With his Abruzzese heritage and a culture centred on the art of feeding and entertaining, Maiale encourages people to come together with food. Family food. Honest, good food with no shortcuts.

The idea for Palle was dreamt up during Covid over wines with a friend, talking about the need for comfort food and reminiscing about his mum’s meatballs. A recipe passed down through generations, Maiale’s mum made meatballs a staple in their household.

“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 fried – meatballs spark joy and scream love and good times!” says Maiale.

The bright buzzy diner is recreating the classics and rolling out delicious, comfort food. Palle offers diners meatballs in many ways – from the simple dishes his mum made to innovative, modern meatballs such as salt cod and potato balls. Meatballs are fried, served in broth (“in brodo”), subs (made on a brioche bun), Middle Eastern-inspired (think tender lamb with tangy tzatziki), and of course, spaghetti and meatballs. Serving options are a set of two balls ($10), a bucket of 12 ($50), atop house-made spaghetti ($26) or on a classic meatball sub (half two meatballs $14 or full four meatballs $25).

And Palle is aiming to be as diverse and inclusive as possible, so the menu includes dishes for vegetarians – the cheese ball (four cheeses and tomato) or the porcini mushroom, taleggio and truffle. And there are also dairy free and gluten free options.

Whilst balls are the focus, the menu also includes Italian snacks of baked olives, cured meats, zucchini flowers and sides of garlic and cheese bread, loaded fries and cabbage slaw salad.

Plus, there’s a selection of bombolini sweet balls ($12) for dessert with flavours including dulce de leche, Nutella, raspberry and lemon curd or cinnamon and vanilla custard cream.

The dishes are made to be shared and this is reflected in the casual seating options of long tables and counter bar seats. Maiale wants diners to have fun at Palle and extends his bright, cheerful attitude into the diner décor, which has bold splashes of yellow and red interior walls. 

Palle is a great spot to bring the whole family, have a night out with mates or even for a spicy date as you sip on Aperol Spritz and share spaghetti and meatballs lady and the tramp style. The meatball options are plentiful; you can dine in, take out or indulge in delivery. Whatever you choose, this saucy new meatball joint won’t disappoint. Roll on down…

Find Palle at 1 Dalgal, Forest Lodge
Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday for lunch 12 – 3pm or dinner 5:30pm till close