Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review: Pony Lounge and Dining

19-25 Grosevenor Street

Neutral Bay

Mon - Sat
12pm - 3pm
5:30pm - late

8:30am - late

p. 02 9904 3422

Many years ago Squeak had tried and enjoyed Pony at The Rocks, but for some reason we had never been together. We decide to make an appearance on the 'other' side of the bridge and see what Pony in Neutral Bay has to offer a couple of rumbling tummies this lazy Sunday.

Wandering in it is clear that Neutral Bay does not wake up quite so early as us, as the only people there are finishing up breakfast! I feel a little odd ordering my cocktail! Undaunted though we quickly decide to imbibe in some Pony Signature drinks with a  'Lemon Time' for me (Tanqueray Gin, lemon juice, thyme, lemon syrup, egg white) and Squeak runs with a Spiced Treacle (Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, house made apple, sultana and cinnamon syrup, apple juice and Aztec chocolate bitters). They couldn't be more different from each other, but are both quite delicious.

We decide to share a couple of small bits and bobs to start with and are immediately drawn to the toasted almonds with chilli and salt. These emerge piping hot with a deceptively innocent chilli oil that provides a real kick after a few mouthfuls. Very more-ish.

The Buffalo Mozzarella with an olive, celery, eggplant, caper and capsicum salsa is disappointing. The salsa is very tasty but the mozzarella is a big let down. My first observation is that it seems just too cold and the texture is very odd in the mouth. To be honest - it isn't very good.

Next is the Citrus cured salmon with fennel, rocket and a soy lime glaze. This is fresh and very tasty... the soy lime glaze and the fennel work really well with it.

I then choose to have the Pork Cutlet with mushrooms, pearl barley, herb salad and crackling. This feels very fresh and almost healthy. The pork is juicy and the crackling is sans fat (which is healthier I know!). The herb salad is delicious and brings some good flavour to the dish.

Squeak goes with the very surprising Eye Fillet with dutch carrots, eschallots, red wine jus and a salsa verde. These last two elements seems to be an odd match to me, but they apparently taste good. The cut of beef is quite small, but probably all you need. The carrots are generous, well cooked and tasty.

Obviously we order some chips and a leaf salad to share! Chips go down well... but are nothing particularly special.

I cannot go past any form of crumble or any form of tart so when they are paired together... what is a girl to do?  For dessert therefore I order the Pear Crumble tart with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel. The pastry tart shell is oddly hard to get through with a fork, but quite easy to eat in the mouth and the crumble is buttery and delicious. The pears are fantastic, the ice cream rich and the caramel glorious. I enjoy this dessert a lot.

It needed two shots!!

Squeak, usually, is not drawn to chocolate desserts but this one has something she cannot resist - orange curd. She orders the  Jaffa Chocolate Terrine with honeycomb, orange curd and creme fraiche sorbet. This is a rich and decadent dessert offset beautifully by the sorbet and the orange curd is lovely. Most things can be improved with the inclusion of a citrus curd we believe!

Overall service is ok... perhaps a bit disinterested and the food is good (apart from that buffalo mozzarella!)

Would we come back? I'm not sure.... but the lure of those desserts might be too hard to resist!

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