Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pony Dining - The Rocks, Sydney

Pony is still very popular these days, they're even full-house for a late dinner on a Monday night. I didn't make any reservations, assuming that they won't be busy on a Monday night - and I ended up waiting 30 minutes for a table. My bad.

The restaurant is quite unique because of their 'communal' dining table. They do have some individual tables for two inside their restaurant, but the main attraction is the alfresco (yet very warm on witter night) long wooden communal table outside, just adjacent to the bar. Supposedly, they design the long communal table to encourage conversations between diners, but being Asian (often deemed to be individualists in Western standards), we pretty much kept the talking among ourselves. LOL

The restaurant is headed by the charming and dashing Damian Heads - one of Australia's foremost celebrity chef. He wasn't there when we dined there, though. The menu is very influenced by Argentinean style cooking - with the use of wood fired Argentinean grill being the restaurant's forte. The wine list is also pretty impressive - good selections of French and Italian wines in addition to Australian wines.

Wine ordered:
2006 Fattori Pinot Grigio (Venezie, Italy)

I'm by no means a wine expert, but I heard from someone that Pinot Grigio (it's a variety of Pinot Gris) goes well with anything. Considering the amount of red meat we ordered, it seems peculiar to pair it with white wine, I know, but I think it works just fine.

P.S. Pardon the awful pictures. It's really, really dark, my camera kind of sucks for low light, and didn't want to take too much pictures so as not to offend other diners (remember, it's a communal table!).

Grilled Italian flatbread with smoky eggplant & white bean dip

-> It's pretty good. The dip has really strong Latino / Argentinean kick to it and it's just delightful. The flatbread is crispy and slightly oily - eating it by itself is already a good treat.

Rating: 7/10

Rib eye, crisp layered potato cake, wilted spinach, jus

-> A perfectly-marbled Angus beef with perfect fat ratio. Delightful.

Rating: 8.5/10

Crisp pressed duck, sweet potato mash, bok choy, bitter-sweet orange sauce

-> There's just something with Ducks and Oranges. They go perfectly together, with unquestionable chemistry. Otherwise, why would those grand chefs in France create Canard a l'orange? In fact, I think Ducks should always be eaten with a citrusy-sweet sauce, just like wilted asparagus should always be eaten with hollandaise. Okay, maybe not always, but you know what I mean. Oh, by the way, I just love this dish. It has an obvious Asian influence as well (with the bok choy), and the sweet potato mash is so good I want to eat it everyday. Must-order!

Rating: 9/10

Roasted blue eye, forestiere potatoes, caper, parsley and lemon sauce

-> Just exquisite. Especially the sauce. Must-try.

Rating: 8.5/10

Argentinean style short rib of beef, chimichurri

-> Exquisite. Simple yet amazing dish. It's wood fire grilled, so it has a unique smoky texture. Took quite awhile to cook, but definitely worth the wait. After the rib is sprinkled with lemon juice and dipped in chimichurri (it's an Argentinean dip), it tastes like party in my mouth. Definitely will be coming back for more.

Rating: 8.5/10

Chocolate hazelnut tartlet with vanilla ice cream

-> One good dessert, eaten by many. We're too full for dessert but were boh kam guan (unwilling / un-acquiescent) to leave the restaurant without at least savoring something sweet.

Rating: 7/10


cla said...

been meaning to go... next time i guess... next time...

Erique Fat Owl said...

Go on weekends for higher chance of your food being cooked by Damian Heads! LOL

Zuleika said...

wow rik i really like your restaurant review in this blog, so entertaining it is so you .. thumbs up for this blog and pony food !! im waiting your review for melbourne ill be happy to show you around

Erique Fat Owl said...

Thanks dit! hihihihih...although, there's something about that dinner that only WE know yah dit...hihihi! Shush, tapi jangan diomongin disini lho! hihihihih

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