Eagle Street Pier is home to some of Brisbane’s best places to eat, offering great views and excellent food served by attentive staff. One of the precinct’s restaurants that ticks both boxes is Pony Dining.

Let’s get the name out of the way: no, horse is not on the menu. The first Pony, launched in Sydney’s historic dining precinct, The Rocks, is housed in an ex-stable.

Brisbane’s Pony has just revamped it lunch menu after realizing the need for quick, delicious lunches. (Oh how I miss those 1980s three hour lunches). From 11.30am to 3.00pm, it offers a truncated dinner menu supplemented with ‘lunch’ items such as burgers and sandwiches.

Rather than battle the weekday crowds, we opted to stop by on a leisurely Saturday. Jamie, the manager, guided us through the menu’s highlights and introduced us to the delights of pomegranate granita over a Coffin Bay oyster. It works well, even to an oyster purist like myself. The zesty pomegranate balanced the briny oyster. Tangy cool with bite – something like myself.

The smoky eggplant dip is enough for one, but go ahead and share it. On top were generous quenelles of housemade labneh, pomegranate seeds (I love that pop in the mouth), and a sprinkling of crispy fried chick peas for crunch. Who thought of frying chick peas … not me. Served with smoked grilled bread, this is a must have dish, and I would go back and have that everyday if I could.

Accompanying the meal were indulgent gin cocktails. I tend to gulp rather than sip, but this cocktail, nominate your botanicals, had enough of a bite to be a sip drink. Now I didn’t think such a thing really existed, but this one lasted me through the entire lunch.

The lamb salad was huge – in fact, it’s big enough to share. The raw and crispy kale added texture and goodness (i.e. antioxidants), the pecorino gives cheesy goodness, and the twelve-hour braised lamb and wood-fired pumpkin add smokiness. The naughtiness comes from the candied hazelnuts. Yes, salty sweet hazelnuts. And for heaven’s sake don’t fight over the hazelnuts, it’s demeaning – or at least that’s what my companion said.

The Rangers Valley Rump that they claim is 250 grams looks closer to 300 if you ask me. The aging adds depth as does the Argentinian style grilling and the wood-fired tomato salsa; broccoli and cumin-rubbed potatoes complete the dish. I managed to wrangle only one bite – next time that’s what I’ll order.

I’d been waiting for dessert since I’d read the menu – I was all primed for the Bombe Alaska, was even ready to share maybe. Jamie insisted that we also share the Dark Chocolate Marquise (with Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Brittle, and milk jam – don’t. ask. just. order). OMG. It is rare that we don’t prefer one. But honestly, the both of them were equally good. The bombe was fresh, luscious, but not overwhelmingly sweet: crème fraiche gelato and raspberry sorbet enveloped in an unctuous Italian meringue.

As I was only allowed one teensy spoonful of marquise, I’ll have to go back.

See socials from NYE at Pony Dining here.