The Pony Club, Mount Lawley
Note: The Pony Club has closed permanently.
Birthday breakfast, Part 1
Jac took me to The Pony Club in Mount Lawley for my mystery birthday breakfast. It was a mystery because I had no idea where we were going until we got there. :) If you're not familiar with The Pony Club, it's a restaurant - not a pony club! - that serves tapas-style dishes. The Pony Club has recently started serving breakfast on weekends 7:00am – 11:30am.
The restaurant was quite empty when we arrived just before 9am, and we were invited to pick any table we liked. I chose a table for two right by the window, where there'd be good natural light for taking photos.
"We can't sit at that table - we need a table for four," Jac told me.
"Well how would I know that?" I asked her indignantly. "You didn't tell me anyone else was coming!"
She looked at me blankly for a moment, and we burst into laughter at the same time.
"Oh yeah... I didn't, did I?" She said. Good one, Jac!
As we settled into a table for four, my sister Juji and her boyfriend Jay arrived. Yep, good one, Jac! :D
We ordered a number of dishes to share.
We were all keen to try the tortilla de patatas, or potato omelette (AU$16). You can choose your omelette filled with manchego and chorizo or with Moroccan spiced vegetables - we chose manchego and chorizo. The omelette was more French-style than Spanish-style in its presentation, but it was lovely, golden-brown on the outside, soft in the middle. In hindsight, we should've ordered two omelettes, one with each type of filling. More on that point later.
The other dish we all really liked the sound of was the glazed orange and lemon torrijas (French toast, AU$10). I greedily inhaled the aroma of citrus and butter that rose off the plate when it was placed on our table. It was a perfect serve for us to share - four thick slices of bread cut into hefty triangles. I couldn't work out what looked more enticing, that shiny pool of orange sauce that I immediately wanted to dip my finger into, or the French toast that looked so soft and custardy in the middle.
We dipped our French toast into the dish of orange and lemon sauce. I was the last to eat my piece of French toast, so I poured sauce over it. There may have been a fingertip or two dipped in the sauce as well :P. The French toast was just how I like it, buttery, eggy and custardy. The thick slices of bread were surprisingly light, so soft in the middle they melted in the mouth, and absolutely beautiful with the citrus sauce, which was more tangy than sweet.
We also shared a serve of baked eggs with spiced chick peas and spinach (AU$14). The baked spinach was shriveled and pretty tasteless - it really didn't make a positive contribution to the flavour or texture to the dish. It was more like a poorly chosen garnish than a worthy component of the dish. I thought the chick peas were quite dry, but they had a delicious spicy flavour and made a great side dish for the omelette.
There were a couple of eggs in the dish - unfortunately one egg yolk had already burst and cooked through. The other egg looked pretty good, though I prefer my eggs to be even softer and more gooey.
We ordered a couple of sides as well: pancetta (AU$5) and sherry glazed mushrooms with goats curd (AU$5). There's something so pleasurable and satisfying in the tactile act of eating of pancetta. Whenever I see pancetta I am compelled to pick it up and tear it with my fingers. I used my fork to lift strips of pancetta off the serving dish, but I used my fingers to tear them into smaller pieces that I popped into my mouth. We all agreed we couldn't really taste the sherry in the mushrooms - they were cooked to well-done and were soft rather than bouncy in texture. To me, they tasted good, but not distinctly mushroomy. Jac thought they'd been served a little on the cold side to begin with. The goats curd was creamy and delicious but its strong flavour pretty much overwhelmed the flavour of the mushrooms.
Our waiter brought us separate plates to eat with. Here's my plate with a bit of each of the savoury dishes. It all tasted great together!
We also shared a fresh fruit plate with yoghurt and thyme honey (AU$12). It was a nice selection of fruit: orange, apple, pear, watermelon, strawberries and figs. The French toast's orange and lemon sauce made a lovely dipping sauce for the fruit too.
Jac enjoyed her Virgin Mary very much. Jac absolutely loves tomato juice. I've never been a fan of tomato juice - I prefer eating tomatoes to drinking them.
We were served sugar cubes with our tea and coffee. Here's Juji's flat white coffee sucking up a sugar cube. :)
The service wasn't terrible, but it wasn't outstanding either. I liked that the wait staff weren't overly chatty, especially after they found out this was a birthday breakfast (thank goodness, no over-enthusiastic chit-chat about my birthday). We were offered drinks when we first arrived, but no one followed up to see if we'd like another round of drinks. Jac probably would've ordered another Virgin Mary, and I would've probably ordered another tea or a fresh orange juice if someone had come to take more drink orders. The waiter who delivered our baked eggs told us he'd return with a spoon so we could more easily serve the dish up onto our individual plates. He never came back. It wasn't a big deal to use our forks, but it's always nice if a waiter actually does what he or she promises to do. Our table was cleared promptly; however, no one asked if we'd like anything else, not while clearing the table, and not afterwards. Looks like incomplete service strikes again.
Here's the thing: we really enjoyed our meal but when all the food was finished we were still hungry. Yes, we definitely should've ordered two omelettes and maybe another couple of dishes! We talked about our options: order another round of food, or drive further up Beaufort Street and grab hot roast meat sandwiches at Mondo Butchers. Juji and Jay have raved about the hot roast pork sandwiches before and Jac and I were pretty keen to try them out. We may have been swayed to stay and order more of The Pony Club's breakfast dishes had there been the opportunity to do so, but since no one returned to our table once it was cleared, we decided to leave and get roast meat sandwiches. When I'm at a restaurant, I don't think I should have to hail a waiter to get service. If no one makes the effort to check on me, I'll leave without spending more money. Simple.
The breakfast dishes we tried were delicious, but if you like going out for a big breakfast, don’t forget The Pony Club’s tapas-style sizing when ordering – you may find the serves on the small side (we did, but then, we are big eaters. That's the tapas trap, I suppose - it can end up quite expensive for big eaters). I really enjoyed the omelette and the soft, buttery, citrusy French toast.
Note: The Pony Club has closed permanently.
The Pony Club
Telephone: (08) 9228 8801
620 Beaufort St
Mount Lawley WA
Breakfast with three of my favourite "J people" was fun (my other favourite J person is too far away :)).
TFP's birthday 2010 posts
Here's the full list of my 2010 birthday posts, in reading order: