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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Where to fulfill meatball cravings

Despite the horse meat scare, sales have not dipped at eateries selling meatballs.
Asia One - March 21, 2013
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Where to fulfill meatball cravings

Meatballs have been in the spotlight recently, after horse meat was found in those sold by Swedish furniture giant Ikea in the Czech Republic three weeks ago.

As a precautionary measure, Ikea Singapore voluntarily withdrew its meatballs from sale for about a week and a half starting on Feb 26, even though the meatballs are made with beef and pork imported from Australia. When it began selling the meatballs again, the company offered them at 10 cents each for one day only on March 8. The usual price is $5.50 for 10, $8 for 15 and $9.50 for 20. It led to long queues at the chain's two stores here, in Tampines and Alexandra, and Ikea even made it to the Singapore Book of Records for the Most Number Of Meatballs Cooked And Sold In A Day. It sold almost 250,000 meatballs that day.

Other restaurants which serve meatballs have not seen sales dip either.

Those that SundayLife! spoke to also said they had not received queries from diners on what goes into the meatballs.

Consulting chef Matthew White, 33, from Extra Virgin Pizza in Asia Square and United Square Shopping Mall, said: "The popularity of our meatballs has remained the same or grown - customers have always loved this dish."

Extra Virgin Pizza, an artisan Italian pizza joint, serves Veal & Ricotta Meatballs using meat from Australia.

He added: "We haven't gotten any additional questions regarding the meat used. We've been pretty explicit about the quality of ingredients we use and most customers understand that veal is a high quality product."

Wine BOS, a wine distributor which also runs a restaurant in North Bridge Road, has Bitter Ballen - Famous Dutch Meatballs, made from beef imported from New Zealand, on its menu.

Its director, Mr Charles Stephan, 55, said: "Some of my customers joke about it. They say: 'Today is very special, our meatballs are made of pure horse meat.'

"I don't think Westerners worry too much and locals haven't asked me any questions about the meat."

Diners at Fika, a Swedish cafe and bistro with two outlets, in Millenia Walk and Beach Road, which also serve meatballs with potatoes, lingonberry jam and cream sauce, are not deterred either.

Mr Mats Frisk, a 52-year-old Swede who works here as managing director of a strategic design agency, said: "I don't have a problem eating horse meat because I have eaten it back home. For example, instead of ham, we have slices of horse meat. But I know what I get here at Fika is not horse meat.

"In Ikea, the meatballs are probably made by the millions. Here, it tastes home-cooked, and I believe that they have control over their ingredients."

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