Ponyfish Island

1 Apr

It’s a perilous road, filled with skunky pickles, rogue basil leaves and people pushing their own dietry agenda. But the quest for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich is a hallowed one, and new slashy playground Ponyfish Island wants in.

Ponyfish (Goatyfrog? Poodletoad? Why?) is a bar /pirate ship /cafe /restaurant co-captained by Jerome Borazio (of Laneway fame), dancing bear Grant Smillie (who wrote that song) and Andrew McKinnon (who has a marketing company we can’t talk about.)

Much like the humble cupcake, secret pop-up bars hidden down grafitti-splattered alleyways are now considered to be frightfully passé. So they’ve put the ‘island’ just under the Southgate pedestrian bridge where you can admire sweaty kayakers paddling along the sparkling sewage river. To be honest it feels a bit like one of them went to a bar by the harbour in another city and thought, ‘Actually, sitting by the water is kinda rahd. Maybe we should try this at home?’

But back to the quest. PfI masquerades as a restaurant with the help of a notably diverse toastie menu. All the classics are there (H&C, C&T, HC&T) and even though hot spinach burns like hell it was good to see a vegetarian-friendly toastie on the board. They have it tough sometimes.

Not sure why pirates need pots of tiny succulents next to their ash trays, though I can understand the swathes of hessian and suspended swinging tables. As at most Melbourne drinking hotspots, if you take off your clothes at the bow of the ship and pose in the manner of a figurehead, you’ll get a free drink. Or so I’m told.

No KMCG’s here. On the contrary, these sanwiches all go down exceptionally well with a cocktail in a jam jar. You know how it’s trendy to drink out of a used condiment container? Oh Malbourne.

Photo from Get Notorious.

Ponyfish Island, Yarra Pedestrian Footbridge.

Image from Get Notorious.

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