“My sister?” says Hyacinth Bucket, “She’s the one with the Mercedes, swimming pool and room for a pony…” This sprawling, astro-turfed complex of bar, coffee, café, indoor/outdoor always makes me laugh. Only because of the clever name and logo, a toy Trojan wooden horse.
Did you know that’s its genesis? The unbelievably funny Hyacinth ‘Bouquet’ and her pretensions to upper class English society. Room for a Pony has morphed slowly into the multi-spaced venue it is now, and has found its feet. Or hooves. A former garage on this big open site on the threshold of NoHo (North Hobart for you mainlanders), treats a plenty await.
My undoubted genius of a Web Designer and Digital Marketer, Josh, had arrived in Hobart for a look-see from Adelaide. So for you Adelaide Foodies, he can go back with a bit more knowledge of the food scene here, and I think he’s a fan.
I insisted on brunch at Pony for a couple of reasons: “Nah, coffee was shit, wouldn’t go back,” said a friend of mine recently. How long ago did he visit? “Oh. Maybe a year.” Okay then. Time for a re-appraisal. And I’d been hearing seriously good things about the food.
Lucky for us, the weather was amazing, but we still sat in the comfort and warmth of inside. I love the décor. It’s clean, but cosy, and you have a choice of seating arrangements from banquettes and high tables to bar stools and comfy chairs. But we’re here for the food, and coffee.
Coffee? I always have a long black with lemon. Great test of the coffee beans themselves and the freshness. Lemon takes away that dusty back palate coating that black coffee has, an old habit of my mother’s. Josh’s Latte? Stirling. And Helen’s flat white? Delicious. So tick, coffee.
Reasonably small menu with good choice still, and some unusual and tasty sides at $4 and $5, we dived in. For Helen? The Muffuletta Sandwich with ‘salami trio, double cheese, pickle tapenade & kewpie mayo’, $16.5. In between mouthfuls, she manages a mumbled ‘delicious’, so I focus on my ‘sausage & ham hock black beans with poached eggs and chipotle’, $20.
Well, I’m a sucker for anything chipotle, that deep, smoky, chilli flavour, and ham hock with black beans? Perfect. The Pigeon Whole sourdough was toasted and golden, the eggs runny, and the only complaint was it was just too much! I needed another stomach. Josh gave his ‘breakfast ramen with pork belly, eggs, tomato and spring onion’, $18.50 his best shot, but it just defeated even him in the end.
So a word of warning: the serves are generous, and I had to try the hash brown or rösti as it’s correctly called on the menu, at $4, the hands down best damned rösti I’ve had – even in Germany. And that’s not meant as a wanky “Oh I’ve been to Germany comment,” just that it eclipsed its forebears, in little old Hobart.
I have to also note that I washed this all down with a Bloody Mary $18 as well, and by golly it was good. With a fresh celery stick, the right seasoning, and chilli flakes on the lemon slice, it’s guaranteed to revive a seaman after a big night.
There also were some delicious sounding granolas and smoothies and a ‘banana and nutella brioche French toast with vanilla ice-cream $15’ which we all noted with long wistful looks as we called it a day on the breakfast front. But I’ll be back, and so will Josh and Helen. This Trojan pony has wheeled into the village to stay.
Does this sound like your kind of breakfast? And don’t you just love a name that’s witty, memorable, and clever? Room for a Pony never sounded so good, even with Hyacinth.