Monday, 6 August 2012

Ponyfish Island Bar - A Pontoon In The Yarra

Under the pedestrian walkway that connects Southbank to Flinders Street Station there is a staircase that you follow down to a pontoon that wraps around a bridge pylon that is known as the Ponyfish Island Bar. It certainly can not be mistaken as something that belongs in the Whitsundays, but I think it is an interesting concept. It is easily found if you follow the music when on the footbridge.

Being in such a convenient location attracts the corporate drinkers after 5:00 PM weekdays and especially on Friday night, weather and cold be damned, it doesn't matter, the punters flock here. The tourists and shoppers seem to like it on the weekend. The bar is rather simple, much like the decorations and furnishings. I have never been enticed to languish here for hours because the majority of the seating involves you perching on a wooden crate. My arse is not that doughy so it can become uncomfortable during an extended session.

When I last visited, watching the ferries putter up and down the dirty Yarra, I felt conflicted.. When it is raining, I can not guarantee you will not get wet. It may feel cold in Southbank when you are walking around but it seems much colder when you are sitting on a crate and enjoying a Carlton Draught in a plastic glass or a muddled wine from the cash only bar that does not offer table service.

With all of the options in the area, Ponyfish has an edge because it is different. It is the only place where you can eat, drink, smoke, laugh and listen to music on an island outside in the Melbourne CBD and is very convenient to meet people at. There are plenty of other places in the area that include table service, have comfortable seats and are the same price along the Southbank Promenade though, so mood and weather will dictate frequenting this place most of the time. Speaking of moods, when I fancy a couple of beers and I am in transit across the Yarra River, I do stop at this place but again, a long session does become an uncomfortable and sometimes wet chore. As it warms up, this place will be a more attractive venue, at least for me, however at the price you pay for a beer, you would expect for it to be served in a proper glass and not a plastic one. The food is pretty cheap and cheerful. The staff are good fun. The views are cool and the people that converge here tend to be happy, which really for me is what attending a bar is all about.

Ponyfish Island Bar, Southbank

Ponyfish Island Bar
Link to review
Southgate Pedestrian Bridge  Melbourne VIC 3006
0426 501 857
My Rating: 10.5/20
Service: 1/5 (bar service only)
Ambiance: 3.5/5
Quality: 3/5
Value For Money: 3/5
Comment: They do a good bbq

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com

At the time of this blog post, 87% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon like this place.

Ponyfish Island on Urbanspoon