Pony Dining at Eagle Street Pier is back in the race with a new menu and relaxed fine dining offering gorgeous Brisbane riverfront views.
It’s a new take on Queensland-style dining with Head Chef Michael Crosbie (Inchcolm Hotel, Qualia) bringing his food story to the table and focusing on one of the rivers most picturesque reaches viewed from Eagle Street Pier.
The combinations are simple yet clever and the wood-fire grill is still burning strong offering an intriguing smoky aroma to several dishes. The protein list has expanded and the plating is detailed. It’s a relaxed, classically Queensland package which diners will no doubt find attractive.
Want to win a $250 dinner at Pony? Entry details at the end of the story.
Eagle Street offers many memorable Brisbane River views, but the elevation and open balcony at Pony add an extra dimension to the experience. It is hard to believe that this site was once a McDonald’s venue.
Inside the restaurant, the décor is slick and modern with the kitchen as a focal point. There’s a substantial bar area for pre and post meal drinks and dining tables located inside and outside on the sweeping veranda.
This is the perfect position to watch fireworks on the river.
Pony Dining has a new team
A fan of cooking with charcoal and wood, Crosbie brings serious flavour credentials to Pony Dining. He recently took Spring Hill’s Thomson’s Reserve to Gault & Millau two-hat status, and before that spent two years at award-winning Qualia on Hamilton Island. He names Room 81 at Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, Astral Restaurant at The Star, Quay Restaurant Sydney and Vanitas Restaurant on the Gold Coast as well as London’s Park Lane Hotel as other key places he has created culinary magic.
The new team is led by General Manager Ashleigh McMillan who brings a wealth of experience to the restaurant. Most recently at Gambaro’s Restaurant and Gerard’s, McMillan spent five years, including the opening period, at the award-winning Sake, where the restaurant won a Chef’s Hat in the first year of operation and maintained it for her tenure.
What to expect on the menu at Pony Dining
Crosbie’s new flavour-signature is sprinkled across entree dishes of kingfish, smoked eel, spanner crab, smoked duck breast and wood-smoked raw beef.
The plating is innovative with grilled beef bone marrow nestling in a bed of hay, and oak-smoked eel, freshwater caviar, chive sandwiched by potato crisps on a wooden round.
Although the oh-so-pretty slices of raw kingfish with radish, yuzu, shiso and the wood-smoked raw beef with crunchy brassicas, pickles and salt bush were delightful dishes, it was the spanner crab, with sunchoke and burnt butter, topped with finely chopped macadamias that stole my tastebuds.
Created from Crosbie’s memories of a Queensland childhood growing up on the Gold Coast and catching crabs for a crab sanger feast, its flavour notes are universal for anyone who has shared the experience. This ode to the crab sandwich is now my number one favourite when it comes to Queensland-inspired dishes.
The main event
The mains menu offers base dishes of snapper, mackerel, pork jowl, Angus rump cap, wagyu brisket and gnocchi.
A seductive smoky flavour permeated well beyond the crisp skin on the grilled mackerel and its sea dressing of wakame with shiitake and sorrel.
Nine score grilled wagyu brisket from David Blackmore came with radishes, stout onions and watercress.
The accompaniments of carrots and grilled cauliflower were a real surprise and indeed hit well above their weight for flavour.
The dessert menu is where Crosbie has had some serious flavour fun with artichoke ice cream, molasses sponge and a blood orange sorbet offering memorable tastes.
It’s so hard to choose between the three desserts, Chocolate & blood orange, Pear, barley and apple, and Milk and honey; it’s best just to order them all.
Win dinner for two at Pony Dining
So, giddyup Brisbane, because Pony Dining has upped the ante and diners are in for a fantastic flavour ride!
Competition details – the winner can choose their preferred date and time to dine, except for Friday and Saturday, which are not available. The dine-in experience is to the value of $250, inclusive of entrée, main and drinks. There is one dining experience to give away and the dinner must be redeemed by March 30, 2018.
To win a dinner you’ll need to nominate your favourite Queensland dish and share why in comment space below, (just keep scrolling down). The best story wins. Family, forget it. Friends, the comments tab is itching for your thoughts.
The competition closes on Sunday, October 1, 2017, 12 midnight. The winner will be notified by email and their name published on this post.
Remember to subscribe to posts from Eat,drink and be Kerry so you’ll know about the next competition too!
UPDATE: Michelle Carey’s comment below won her the $250 dining voucher. Enjoy your meal Michelle!
Disclaimer: Ed+bK dined as a guest of Pony Dining.