Friday, August 31, 2012

Snow Pony, Balwyn by Big Fil

She looked like she had done herself up nicely, touched up her roots and applied a bit of lippy. No not Snooze, my breakfast companion for the day, but the blonde haired ruby lipped filly that sat atop the entrance to Snow Pony. Actually, on the other hand that just does sound a little like Snooze....

Anyway, Snow Pony is part of the same stable as a couple of other fleet footed thoroughbreds, Porgie and Mr Jones and Friends of Mine. Similarities in style betray that they obviously share a common racing philosophy, not surprising given they share the same stylish trainers. At least three very different yards in which to sit and dine, a modern Melbourne cafe at the front, a plush more old world room towards the back and an outdoor courtyard, complete with dressmakers dummy and red wicker light fittings.

After looking at the menu the odds of our breakfasts being good appeared to be short-priced chances without necessary being odds on winners. The form guide listed a few long time punter favourites towards the bottom of the page but we decided to go with a couple of horses we liked the look of, a well bred cheese toastie and a porridge that looked well suited for a run on a wet and cold morning.

Feeling my oats I chose to ride Flip Skelton’s five grain porridge, baked quince, pomegranate seeds and candied walnuts on my silks. The grains were light but filling, perfect to ensure that you have the energy for a hard days riding. The baked quince added some flavour to the feed, and the pomegranate and candied walnuts ensured that the track remained soft but not dead.

The racing colours for the herb and cheese toastie included an eggplant kasundi and bacon. The toastie was quite a majestic stallion standing several hands high. The bacon was obviously a quality addition to the field and the kasundi ensured that the towards the end of the race the dish did not lag but had the tangy flavours to push on in the race for the line.

Given we were obviously in the money after the first couple of races we decided to turn it into a quadrella through the addition of a couple of breakfast desserts. Our pick for the third was Millionaire’s Shortbread, ridden by salted caramel, dark chocolate and a streak of gold leaf. Unfortunately I think we were just out of the money here, with the weight of the caramel and dark chocolate a bit much for such a small horse to carry.

For the last of the day we decided to cheer on a lemonade scone, with jam and Chantilly cream. While the jam and cream originally looked a bit overmatched given the size of the horse they were riding it turned out to be perfectly judged. The only issue, the scone itself appeared to crumble just before the line resulting in a solid placing rather than an outright win.

The day's racing
While without the pedigree of say Black Caviar the food here is obviously capable of streaking the field at most courses. The stands were pleasant and interesting places to sit, although they did seem to be rather full by the time we were looking to leave. And the bookies taking the orders and delivering the winnings of our fellow punters were obviously keen to put on a good show. My only issue is they could have maybe offered better odds on some of the horses.

The payout
Food – 8
Ambience – 8
Service – 7.5
Price – 6.5

95 Whitehorse Road
Balwyn VIC 3103
Tel: (03) 9816 8911

Snow Pony on Urbanspoon

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