Sunday, 29 September 2013

Breakfast Series - Ponycat Cafe

We didn't really plan on going out for breakfast this morning, the plan was to lounge around in bed and sleep in after having friends around for the fireworks of Riverfire.  In the back of my mind I thought we might go for breakfast but we didn't want to go somewhere and wait in queue to start off the day.  As it turns out, I woke at around 7am and held off on having my normal bowl of cornflakes until I confirmed if SC would sleep in past 8am, my cut off for heading for breakfast.  While I watched the clock, secretly hoping SC would get out of bed, I looked over urbanspoon to decide on where to go.

Sensing my mental vibes to get out of bed, SC stumbled out of bed at 7:30 and the game was on, we were off to get some breakfast.  The plan was to head over to Ponycat at Cafe in New Farm, but there were a couple of back up places on standby in case there was a queue at the popular New Farm cafe. As we drove down Brunswick Street and parked the car, we noticed that we had beaten the rush and, apart from a few diners outside with their dogs, the place was practically empty.

I'd never been to Ponycat before, despite trying to get there a number of times over the years, but I had heard great things about it.  Ponycat is well known for being a really relaxed spot where it's cool to bring your pooches down to share a breakfast with you.  This was abundantly clear with about four dogs at the feet of their owners while they enjoyed their breakfast.  As we walked into space, I was struck by the amazing street art that is proudly displayed down one wall of the cafe.

We had our choice of seats inside the cafe and as we sat down, we were advised that the menu was on display on blackboards at the front of the kitchen.  Our waiter for the morning also took our drinks orders and we both went for something a little different from our normal routine.  SC has given up milk so she skipped the coffee and went for an English Breakfast Tea and I opted for a mango smoothie (as opposed to my normal choice of berry).  

As we waited for our drinks to arrive we looked over the Ponycat menu, which is more of an all day menu with breakfast and lunch options available.  The menu is also somewhat eclectic and a little on the contemporary side, and I thought it would be an interesting dilemma to decide what to have for breakfast.   When my mango smoothie was delivered and I had my first sip, its consistency was more like a mango milkshake, but apart from that it was really delicious.

After considering getting something a little left field, SC finally decided on something a little more 'breakfasty' but was still a little 'left of centre'.  French toast is pretty common for breakfast around town but what really set this one aside was the blood orange compote, which is a very unusual pairing.  The French Toast was very simply presented on the plate with a drizzling of blood orange compote and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  The French Toast was well cooked and was nice and toasty but still had a bit of an eggy flavour to it.  The blood orange flavouring worked surprisingly well on the dish and the bitter sweet blood orange compote was balanced out the the smooth and creamy ice cream.  This was an unusual pairing indeed, but it sure did work well.

I had spied exactly what I wanted with my scrambled eggs on the blackboard but had my plans thrown into disarray when it was revealed that there was no chorizo available outside of the chorizo omelette.  I normally would have just defaulted to bacon, but there is no bacon on offer at the Ponycat, only honey baked ham.  After getting over my initial disappointment of not having any bacon or chorizo, I just ordered a side of haloumi cheese to go with my scrambled eggs, roma tomato and field mushrooms. I was pretty happy with the choice of haloumi, which worked really well with the creamy eggs and tomato, I almost didn't miss having the chorizo.... almost.  I loved the eggs which looked really smooth and creamy on the plate and were even more so when I started eating them.  The only issue with the plate (apart from no chorizo) was the field mushrooms needed seasoning, they really needed some salt and pepper to make the flavour pop.

We were really lucky with our timing going to the Ponycat Cafe.  In the first fifteen minutes that we were there the place went from practically empty to bursting from the seams with a queue forming outside.  There was a very comforting feeling in the cafe too, I know it's got a reputation for being very relaxed but it almost seemed as if the place would be better suited over in West End.  To begin with there was an interesting mix of diners that very much reminded me of how West End was a few years back. 

The service was also relaxed and friendly on the morning and our waiter took my protests and dismay about not having chorizo in the good humor they were intended.  Our meals came out pretty quickly and we were happy with the quality of the breakfast provided.

As we walked out, we marvelled at how quickly the queue had formed.  Ponycat is not a large cafe, it probably seats about forty people at a time, inside an out, but even so, it filled up like someone had 'flicked a switch'.  It's great to see the cafe doing so well in the very crowded and popular breakfast scene over at New Farm.  I think I'll have to head back sometime and check out the burger I spied on the menu, I hear its a cracker!

The whiteboard with the menu options available.  It looks as if the menu could change pretty quickly
Our table was awesome, with lots of old news articles and pictures adding to the eclectic feel of the cafe
The French Toast was very tasty with an unusual combination of flavours 
Everything was lovely on the plate, but the mushrooms needed more seasoning
The dining area was quiet one second...
...then there was a crowd.  Blink and you would have missed it
I love love the street art on the walls.  That's one crazy cat!
Such vivid colours and styling is perfect for the Ponycat Cafe
We were only there for 30 minutes beginning to end and it got so busy!
We might have driven on by if we had seen this queue.  Our lucky timing strikes again
Ponycat on UrbanspoonThe Ponycat


  1. one of my favourite breakfasts is mushroom, haloumi and eggs. I have it far more often than I probably should!

    1. The haloumi was nice and I loved it, but I probably wouldn't have ordered it if my beloved chorizo was available!!

  2. It is worth it to try the French Toast? It seems that it has a different twist.

    1. Tully, its always worth trying new things :) It was different and that made it good!


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