Saturday, April 07, 2007

Pony Dining, Cnr Argyle St and Kendall Lane, The Rocks

Pony Dining, Cnr Argyle St and Kendall Lane, The Rocks Saturday 7 April, 2007

I've enjoyed lunch here on two occasions. So, tonight was an opportunity to see what dinner was like - would it be as good, had I talked it up too much??
I love the look and feel of Pony and as designer Michael McCann states,
"The concept of Pony entails a unique, cutting edge exterior lounge and grill restaurant designed to take advantage of its stellar location in a former bond warehouse in a secluded cobblestone laneway, arguably Sydney’s first laneway restaurant and bar. The interior features a dramatic open kitchen with pony hide clad kitchen counter, heritage brick walls, commissioned woven art hangings on a mesh-clad side wall, black japanned recycled plank flooring and custom goat skin pendant lights hung from the original timber ceiling. The kitchen provides a fascinating theatrical attraction to passers-by with the flames of the wood-fired Argentinean inspired grill in one set of windows.An exterior timber deck features an 11 metre communal dining table and outdoor bar and lounge."
We arrived on this wet and windy evening for our 7pm reservation and were warmly greeted by the Maitre'd. He kindly took our umbrellas and offered to hang them out of the way before leading us to our table. The wonderful smell from the wood fired stoves and ovens was delightful and definitely got the taste buds working overtime. We were seated inside along the narrow passage with exposed brick on one side and fascinating rope wall hangings on the other side.
As we were eager diners we had already looked at their online menus and pretty much knew what we wanted to order. We kicked off with some Grilled Italian flat bread, Grilled chorizo & chilli jam and Meredith goats cheese, tapenade, marinated globe artichoke and crostini. WOW! It's a great idea to share some starters up front, not only because you get to try a variety of dishes but because it's so hard to decide what to order! The goats cheese was creamy, slight firm and we lathered it on the flat bread with glee. The chorizo offered a wonderful spicy accompaniment - off to a sensational start.
For mains we both decided to go with the house speciality - 120 day grain fed sirloin, béarnaise, hand cut chips, watercress. We requested it medium rare and it was done to absolute perfection. It was smokey from the wood fire, tender and easy to slice and tasted like butter - just delicious.
We pondered dessert and after a much needed break decided to go for it. I couldn't go past the Apple galette baked with frangipane, sauce anglaise. I had actually experienced this once before and there was no way I could choose anything else. My dinner buddy joined me with the same selection. It arrived on a charming oval plate with a thin layer of puff pastry and very finely sliced apple layered on top. A small pot of anglaise came on the side which I gladly poured all over it.
The atmosphere was warm and welcoming - there was quite a crowd and many tables around us did two sittings while we were there. The staff were attentive and friendly and I really think Pony offers value for money and a great night out.
Pony Dining - Cnr Argyle St and Kendall Lane, The Rocks - (02) 9252 7797


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