Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Beers, Burgers and a Bridge Make A Winning Combination For Ponyfish Island

Nothing beets an ice cold beer or cider on a 35 degree day. Unless you're accompanying this beverage with an awesome burger whilst stretching out under a bridge with river water lapping gently at your feet...well, its not actually at your feet, because technically you're on an island. And let's be honest, if your feet were wet that would just kill the whole mood wouldn't it. This summary haven in question is, in fact, Ponyfish Island. I'm not exactly sure where it gets it's name from, as I saw neither pony nor fish while there...but with a place as cool as this, one hardly needs to ask questions.

Ponyfish Island is situated on, as the name does suggest, a little floating island island on the Yarra pedestrian foot bridge, and is open from 8am till 1am every day. It's the creation of the peeps from St Jeromes, Siser Bella and 1000 Pound Bend, so there's the expectation it's going to be a good bar to hangout. Most Melburnians certainly seem to think so, as on a Friday night this place is packed and pumping with business men, hipsters and random chillers galore. I think the main thing I love most about this place is the atmosphere. I feel that it looks like the end result of a sexual relationship between a hippy, a hipster and a punk. But maybe don't dwell on that specific image for too's not particularly pleasant. Think recycled timber, hessian sack covers, shipping palettes remodelled into stool tops and wooden planter boxes filled with greenery. And sure, there may be more plastic bags than swans (though we did see a few black ones...I think they were probably just dirty though) in the Yarra, but i'm still calling this location tops. The bar is staffed by hip young ones who are chirpy and friendly, all of which adds to the chilled out vibe here. There is quite a lot of range when it comes to drinks as you can get anything here from Bulmers pear cider and decent beers to sparklings and wines by the bottle or glass, for those with a more sophisticated palate.

After all this chillaxing you'll probably be feeling a little peckish (either that or the smell of the charring BBQ meat was just too much to resist), which is good because the menu here will more than satisfy. Food runs all day, with breakfast offerings like the breakfast wrap and smashed avocado, and for lunch and dinner there are the more substantial choices like quesadillas with beans or chicken. My Ponyfish Partner and I, however, opted for the burgers. The chicken burger was excellent, with charred spicy chicken, onions. tomato relish and coleslaw, and was basically like one big burger party in my mouth. There are great tunes to accompany your wining and dinning (and by this I mean beer swilling and burger stuffing. Classy) too, with a mix of beats that wouldn't sound out of place on a Tripple J cd.

Ponyfish Island can most definitely be called a summer oasis of sorts, with it's easy drinking beverages, easy eating burgers and easy going vibe, it's a place where you really can just put up your feet and relax. And sure, the Yarra cops a bit of shit for not having, well, the cleanliest of waters, but I've discovered that at Ponyfish Island, the river can still sparkle.

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