I recently went to Brisbane for the weekend with my boyfriend, with very good timing. It was raining in Sydney for weeks on end, but not constant rain. It was like the weather was “trolling” us Sydneysiders by being beautifully sunny during the week where most of us were cooped up indoors hunched over a computer (or in my case in a lab with sterile fluorescent lighting) and bitterly cold and wet during the weekend. However, once we landed in Brisbane it was bright and sunny the whole time we were there. We were the envy of a lot of our friends.
During our stay there we were looking for a nice restaurant to eat at close to where we were staying. We happened to stumble across a restaurant called “Pony” at Eagle Street Pier. We read their philosophy: “Honest and uncomplicated food that embraces robust flavours and showcases the best of Australian Produce”. We were on to something here, it was all about the food. The menu was just as their philosophy stated, uncomplicated and unpretentious. You didn’t need a French dictionary to translate what each dish contained.
As we entered, we were greeted by a lovely lady that reassured us that gluten free options were available and that the special was a 6 hour spit roast on their very own coal pit in the kitchen! It was lamb that night, one of my favourite meats. She was very patient with us trying to find us a table for the night as I couldn’t decide on the time, or if I wanted to sit outside on a cold winter’s night. Turns out that their heaters outside were sufficient in keeping the cold at bay. They were so warm in fact that we stripped down to short sleeved tops.
We started off with a cocktail each, I ordered a very delicious rose flavoured one whilst my boyfriend ordered an orange flavoured gin cocktail. The bar staff were very helpful in helping us find a gluten free cocktail as she said that some of the syrups contained gluten. We initially ordered one that potentially had gluten in it and they swiftly exchanged it for us at no extra charge.
The meal started off with seared wagyu with pickled mushrooms (minus the sauce so it could be gluten free). The meat was super tender and the pickled mushrooms really complimented the meat. Next came the spit roast lamb with steamed beans with almond butter and asparagus and rocket salad. The lamb was amazing, 6 hours of slow cooking really does make it so moist and tender. The beans were crisp and fresh and that almond butter, WOW! It tasted like buttered popcorn, well not really. The best I can describe it is that it tasted like how a cinema smells. It was so delicious! I had to stop myself from drinking the butter… The salad was also very good, you really could taste that they invested in very good produce as I never have really enjoyed asparagus till then.
Finally it was dessert time! My boyfriend ordered the gluten free option, the Pony bar, and I the petit fours. Dessert isn’t really my thing, and I usually can skip it to make more room for mains but I’m glad I didn’t. Elegantly presented and great tasting, what more could I have asked for!
There needs to be a special mention for all the Pony staff at the Brisbane restaurant. We had two wait staff serving us and they did an amazing job of ensuring that we had gluten free meals so that my boyfriend didn’t get sick. We quizzed them so many times on the sauces, the cocktails, the desserts and each time they went to confirm with the chefs that the choices we made were safe to eat or provide us alternatives. They probably went to the chefs around 5 times! Also for the bartender for also having a good knowledge of allergens and intolerances.
Great food, great service, great location. Will definitely go back again!
I just went to their website here: http://www.ponydining.com.au/ and just found that they have two Sydney chains! Will be going to try them out very soon!
*Apologies for the photos, I didn’t think I would blog about it.
***Originally published July 2013 on my previous blog***