Pony Bar & Dining, CBD, Brisbane

It's hard to believe that one of Brisbane's best views once was home to a Maccas.

Now instead of sucking up a McFlurry, Brisbane's fooderati are sipping on cocktails or sinking back a coldie after a meal at the newest hotspot in town, Pony Bar & Dining.

Breathlessly awaited, Pony adds another touch of glamour to the burgeoning food scene at Eagle Street Pier.  You are certainly spoilt for choice in this neck of the woods with a list of top restaurants and bars to choose from - Aria, Cha Cha Char, Il Centro, Mr & Mrs G's, Sake and Jelly Fish are just a few of them.

Pony is the first interstate venture from the stables of renowned Sydney restaurateurs  the Kyprianou family and well-known chef, Brisbane-born Damian Heads. As well as the new restaurant in Brisbane, Pony Dining Group operates four ventures in Sydney including; Pony Lounge & Dinning in the Rocks and Neutral Bay, Steel Bar and Grill and Steel Espresso & Catering in the city’s CBD. 

Drag your eyes away from the view and the kitchen is the star in this new Pony with its coal pit fires and charcoal grill. It's all on display and you can watch your char grilled lamb, pork, chicken and more slowly basting over the fire.

Don't miss the wine wall located behind the long wooden table or the very slick bar. Pony is equally proud of its bar and the mixology planned for its drinks should keep guests entertained. Sommelier, Marco Taddeo, has crafted a small but dynamic list of Australia’s classic and well known wine regions, along with undiscovered and remote local producers from this country’s best micro climates. This complements select international labels focusing on natural old-world wines from Europe, with a focus on Italy.

The dining space fronting Eagle Street which at one stage housed Macca's kitchen (what a waste) is now a more secluded area with small tables and views onto the streetscape.  

The long table is a standard fixture at Pony.  Great for large groups.

More intimate spaces are available overlooking the street action and huge fig on Eagle Street.

The feel is slick and industrial with the earthiness of brick and timber.  It's a large space but broken into smaller spaces with a more formal dining area and with clever lighting that surprisingly creates intimate spaces in the middle of the room. Congratulations to architects Woods Bagot who designed the fit out.

Look up and you'll see a swirl of steel running through the building - it's Pony's signature 'whip'.


This Argentinean wine was full of light flower notes and very drinkable
Pony's  mantra is honest flavour driven food showcasing Australian produce alongside carefully crafted boutique selection of wines and cheeky cocktail lists. Core to the brand is a signature wood fire grill and a contemporary modern Australian menu featuring fine cuts of meat, fresh seafood and an array of shared plates and dishes from the kitchen.

The menu offers diners flexibility to construct their own meals with an array of share plates such as seared and sliced wagyu with tamari marinade and pickled shimeji mushrooms, blanched asparagus with salted ricotta, pinenuts, salsa verde and lemon, and a sashimi tuna roll with green soy bean, coriander and chilli sauce. In rustic banquet style, diners can also share an open coal pit roast of succulent duck, chicken, lamb, pig or an O’Connor 1kg Dry Aged T-Bone.

We started with share plates of crisp grilled flatbread with a smokey eggplant and white bean dip and a delicate buffalo mozzarella topping a salsa of eggplant, capsicum, caper, celery and olive. There was a surprising crisp crunch in the sashimi tuna roll which delighted our table.

Bowls of lamb, roasted slowly and carefully for six hours over the coal pit disappeared quickly along with the selection of sides. Non meat eaters were treated to a smokey, charred rich pink salmon from the grill.

And just when you think there was room for nothing else, ice cream pops with strange looking but deliciously crunchy dots on the outside of the white chocolate and a smooth burnt orange ice cream interior appear, reducing the table the child-like joy of licking an ice cream.

Pony Bar & Dining

Bottom line:  Don't hesitate, just put this on your list.
Best tip: Parking underneath is a set rate after 6pm, but not a moment before.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Pony.

Kerry Heaney