[invite] Bianca: Tucked away along one of the Rocks many cobbled laneways is Pony Dining. This latest visit marks the third time I have dined under the ‘Pony’ umbrella. Firstly at the now closed Grovesnor Street location and twice at the Rocks. After a recent refurb, they’re back with a new look and a new menu. One of the main draw-cards is the large wood fire grill taking centre stage in the dining room.
But perhaps some of the best seats in the house are on the outside verandah, perfect for a gorgeous sunny day and a spot of people watching.
We began our leisurely long Sunday lunch with the Burrata, prosciutto, charred cucumber, toasted grains and herb oil $17. Without being too emphatic, this was perhaps one of the better burrata dishes I have had in Sydney. The quality of the burrata & velvety prosciutto was unparalleled. But what tipped this over the edge for me were the toasted grains, the texture and flavour in unison with the cheese was mind blowing.
This was also a strategic pick, wanting to mop up some of that glorious burrata with the flatbread. In its own right, the Flatbread, Smoked eggplant & bean dip $8 was equally delicious. The capsicum having that full depth of flavour you can only get roasting over a wood-fired grill.
The Salad of Grilled Vegetables, goats curd, grains and dukkah $17 was everything you could want from a wintery ‘salad’. Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of goats cheese but this dish did benefit from the astringent tartness to cut through the earthiness of the veggies.
Now down to business, I secretly had my eyes on this one and Julian perhaps sensing the targeted brainwaves was also eager to try the Vietnamese pork belly panini, pate, hot and sour dressing w/fries $16.50. This one left us torn, we both really loved the flavours but disagreed on the use of a soft milk sub, I loved it! With the zingy freshness from the julienned veg, to the soft succulent pork belly interspersed with the crispy crackling.
Of course, I was going to get the burg. I had a similar burger my last visit and I remember being pleasantly surprised. The Wagyu Burger -w/cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, aioli and fries $17.50 w/added bacon $3 had it’s positives and negatives. The flavour was there, with the crispy bacon, melted cheese, perfect ratio of sauce and excellent amount of shredded lettuce (big bonus). But there was an overwhelming taste, that of charred meat. The texture of the patty was good but the cooking left a lot to be desired. For the FBAS crowd, a 3.4/ 5 pickles.
Of course, desserts were going to make an appearance. Roasted Pineapple Cheesecake, ginger nut biscuit, caramel, lime & mint $12 is a must order. Essentially a light as air whipped cheesecake, tropical pineapple evoking warmer days. This was our favourite of the two.
But don’t turn your nose up, the Hot Chocolate Pudding, orange compote, house-made hazelnut ice cream $12 was every thing you’d want from a winter warmer. Lava like chocolate flowing once you crack open the outer shell. I’ve never been a fan of hazelnut ice-cream, I love hazelnuts, Nutella… you name it. But hazelnut ice-cream, nein. I found the outer shell of the pudding a little overdone, but a minor flaw.
Considering some of the rubbish being served in the tourist traps in the Rocks, Pony is a real draw-card. Best of all, prices are beyond reasonable for the portion sizes.
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Pony Dining.