Arrgh, there be treasure on PonyFish Island

PonyFish Island

Southgate Pedestrian Bridge, Melbourne CBD

Ahoy, matey! Hiding in plain sight from the hustle and bustle of Flinders Street Station, and nestled under the well traversed Southgate Pedestrian bridge, is PonyFish Island. Made up of recycled materials, with funky wooden handrails and shipping container efficiencies, this cafe/bar looks like it’s just washed up on the bridge’s pylons; which is part of its charm. The location couldn’t be more Melbourne. Smack bang in the middle of the Yarra River, you’ve never been able to eat and drink so close to its alluring brown ripples.

Chillin under the bridge

Having not spent a lot of time in the Melbourne CBD recently, I was eager to give this place a go. I’ve heard it’s a pretty good after work drinks venue, particularly on Fridays, but unfortunately today’s commentary is just about the food. Nobody I spoke to at work had visited, even after trudging over it for weeks to the office, so my expectations for the food weren’t high. The Southgate Precinct isn’t particularly well known for its high quality/affordable office lunches, add to that the fact you’re preparing the food in the middle of a river… that’s a recipe for disaster.

Island love

After rounding up some colleagues, we made our way down to the bridge. And it was cold. And windy. Did I mention it was cold? A couple of the lucky ones had coats, but the rest of us were forced to brave the full force of Melbourne winter. PonyFish, obviously having noticed the ferocity of the elements, had a number of gas heaters sprinkled around the island. We commandeered a table near one such heater, and then proceed to order.

The menu is exactly what I want from a cafe. Simple, but with enough variety to satisfy.  And written on a blackboard, it tastes better if it’s written on a blackboard. I ended up ordering the chicken baguette (approx $9.5), which was quickly assembled and served from the kitchen. The chicken was generously stuffed into the baguette, and although not huge, was more than enough for lunch. Sometimes you’ll order a chicken baguette and there will be a slither of chicken wedged into the bread, but this was noticeably bursting out. Once I’d finished, I washed it down with some Phoneix Organic Cola (naturally).


The food was good and not just for Southgate; when I’m next in the CBD, I’ll definitely be back. The only downside is unfortunately the weather, which is obviously currently keeping the office lunch crowds at bay. If you’re prepared to brave the cold, you won’t be disappointed by PonyFish Island. In summer this place will be unstoppable. Shiver me timbers!


Ponyfish Island on Urbanspoon

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