Tuesday, May 3, 2011

PonyFish Island, Melbourne CBD by Snooze

As real estate agents and TV property shows are fond of saying, it's all about location, location, location. Tucked away in the middle of the Yarra and offering million dollar views of Melbourne is PonyFish Island.

Seen from the Southbank side of the Yarra it looks blissful. Trying to find it wandering over the footbridge is not so easy, and I hesitate to let people in on the secret lest it become even more crowded and I can’t get a seat ... okay, look for the stairs on the right hand side just before you reach the Southbank end of the footbridge.

I can’t really wax lyrical about the food as it wasn’t a highlight of our visit, but the view. That's something else, and while Big Fil was playing the gentleman organising our lunch I enjoyed the view looking towards the sunshine over Southbank.

But it's time to talk about the food. Big Fil’s choice for lunch was the steak and shiraz pie with salad, which unfortunately wasn’t a great success. The salad was on the perfunctory side but the major problem seemed to lie with the pie’s unsuccessful reheating, which left the pastry soggy. A shame, as the filling was good and deserved better treatment.

And back to the view. Big Fil and I sat at what felt like the stern end of PonyFish, facing more or less towards Flinders Street station and Princes Bridge. It looked so beautiful with the leaves changing colour and the pedestrian traffic enjoying the sunshine.

And back to the food: I went with the chorizo, baked pear and chickpea salad, with a dressing of what I thought was balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I like salad for a couple of reasons. I like the idea of minimising how much meat I eat for ethical and environmental reasons, and I think a chef working with vegetables has to be more creative to devise an interesting and tasty meal. The PonyFish salad sounded interesting, and definitely unlike anything I’d ever tried before. It wasn’t quite the triumph I’d hoped and it lacked a little in the execution. I liked the chorizo, which added a nice kick to the flavours, but in the main it was bland and the seasoning needed a little more thought.

And back to the view towards Southbank and a view of one of the party boats that cruise up and down the Yarra. I don’t think I’d ever get tired of the views from PonyFish.

The range of cakes and pastries was limited but Big Fil came back with a cute and tasty gingerbread man. All up it was a ginger day for us, given we opted for Phoenix ginger beer with our meals and ended with gingerbread.

The location alone predisposed me to give PonyFish Island the seal of approval and if you can arrive early enough you’ll be able to find a seat at the sunnier end looking towards the Sandridge pedestrian Bridge. PonyFish has a reasonably long menu considering its small kitchen but our food was mediocre. What PonyFish is all about though is what Melbournites love to do whatever the season or weather--enjoy a coffee or a drink in the fresh air--and for this PonyFish would be hard to beat. So grab a table, order a drink and settle in for a couple of hours.

Food – 5.5
Ambience - 9
Service - 6
Price – 6

Yarra Pedestrian Bridge
Melbourne CBD
Tel: 0426 50 1857

Ponyfish Island on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Bureaucrat said...

oh, how i miss that view! and that's a very content looking gingerbread man.

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