We’ve stumbled down laneways in search of hidden restaurants, climbed countless flights of stairs to reach concealed rooftop bars and hunted out cryptic converted cafes. Now for the latest in unusual locations comes the Ponyfish Island. Floating on the Yarra amongst the concrete jungle of Melbourne’s CBD, is this unique new restaurant/bar/cafe.
Ponyfish Island is the end result of a collaboration between three men about town: Grant Smile from 360 agency, Andrew McKinnon of the Taboo Group and hospitality guru Jerome Borazio of Sister Bella and 1000 Pound Bend.
Locating Ponyfish Island is no mean feat. But like most of Melbourne’s hidden gems it’s worth the hunt. The venue is located under the Yarra Pedestrian Footbridge (connecting Southbank to Flinders Street station) and is only accessible from a single stairwell.
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The fit out was completed by the team at Moth Design; the group behind Penthouse Mouse and contributors to design conference Semi-Permanent. The boys have converted the small, sterile space into a floating bar. Think recycled timber, shipping palettes remodelled into stools, hessian sack covers and wooden planter boxes filled with hardy green plants. All overlooking the Yarra, which believe it or not sometimes does sparkle- like a river of sweet caramel.
The kitchen is open from dawn to dusk churning out breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast try the waffles with maple syrup, banana and walnuts. The menu is simple with things like toasties, beef goulash and bar snacks. The coffee is by relatively new coffee importer Niccolo and a full bar menu is also available.
The venue is also available for functions.
Yarra Pedestrian Footbridge (enter via stairs)
Open 7 days from 8am 'til 1am.