Located in The Rocks area of Sydney, below the Tourism Office, Pony Lounge and Dining offers a range of small and large plates in a fine dining setting.
We managed to get a table out on the balcony which overlooked the laneway at the back of The Orient Hotel – good for people watching as loads of tourists stroll up and down the lane.
We ordered a lovely bottle of Margaret River Higher Plane Chardonnay and some bread and dip to keep us going while we mulled over the rest of the menu. The bread and dip were delicious - thin strips of toasted Turkish bread with an eggplant and white bean dip. The dip had a lovely smokiness to it with a touch of chilli as well which gave it some kick.
It was great to see plenty of veggie options among the list of small plates. We ordered four dishes – blanched asparagus with salted ricotta, pinenuts, salsa verde and lemon; aged goats cheese tartlet with caramelised onion and roasted beetroot; grilled chorizo with tomato and chilli jam and coriander; and pan-seared calamari with rocket, white beans, chilli and saffron aioli. We enjoyed all the dishes but I don’t think I would order the goats cheese tartlet again as I was a bit disappointed there wasn’t much flavour from the goats cheese as it was predominately beetroot.
As we were keen to try more dishes we ordered a couple of entree size plates. I had the pan fried potato gnocchi, with roasted pumpkin, walnuts and sage leaves and Kevin had the salad of seared scallops, sesame wakame, coriander, cucumber and lime. Again both dishes were delicious. The gnocchi were like little pillows, light and fluffy.
After the seven dishes and one bottle of wine we were feeling very satisfied but not stuffed. The service was also wonderful, staff were attentive but didn’t hover.
Overall Pony is a bit touristy but the dishes are interesting, delicious and reasonably priced. We would definitely return again to work our way through the rest of the menu.