Apparently being hit by bird poop is considered good luck. Sitting in the sun, outside Hobart’s newest cafe, I grabbed a napkin from one of the girls on our shared table and decided to put my money on the menu. That, and the fact that at half nine, Room for a Pony was already bulging with customers.
The corner of Elizabeth and Burnett Streets has been a NoHo void, most recently selling windscreen wipers, the former servo has been given the ultimate makeover.
Few NoHo and CBD cafes get the full force of the morning sun. At Room for a Pony they’ve taken advantage of their location with plenty of outdoor seating and courtesy sunscreen. You might watch cars go by but you’re outside and there’s space.
The design enjoys its fifties heritage and there are quirky additions like stainless steel buckets that grow vines up the trellis wall that separates the front of house from the café tables.
Room for a pony has been created by Mendel and Drew. Mendel is ex-Knopwoods along with chef, Christian Allen.
After cleaning myself up I noticed the girls at the table were rockin’ their kale juices (the boys had chosen softies). There are two juices on the menu: green and orange. I went for orange. There was a time in my life where I drank a carrot fruit mixes all the time so I chose it for the nostalgia.
The Other Girl arrived and we got down to the serious matter of food. This is what we ate: the Chinese fried chilli omelette, $12.50, and the Pumpkin rosti, poached eggs, burnt butter hollandaise (on the side), $14.
Friend eggs, chilli, rice, kecap manis is a delicious Asian-style breakfast. This Girl really enjoyed this addition to the standard brekkies available around the traps. That’s the thing about Mendel and Drew’s menu, it’s not your av-e-rage bear.
The Other Girl was equally taken with the pumpkin rosti, a delicious potato rosti topped with beautifully roasted slices of pumpkin and poached eggs. Although not a hollandaise fan, in moderation it added something wonderful to the whole dish. If you’re ambivalent, ask for it on the side.
This Girl took The Lovely Deputy there the next day and while he enjoyed the rosti, I chose the meatloaf. A no carb meal if that interests you. It comes with 52 eggs which Drew tells me are eggs poached in their shells at 52 degrees and then cracked on to the grill. It seemed like a lot of effort to put into an egg that doesn’t produce pavlova or custard, but they were okay by me. I also liked the individual meatloaf serve but it didn’t grab me like the Chinese omelette.
I didn’t much care though, I was sitting outside, the coffee was good and I was with the one I love. Ohhhhhhh...
There’s more than room for a pony here. A restaurant and bar are all in the pipeline, along with an enclosed beer garden around the side of the building. Mendel says it is coming in a couple of months. Can’t wait.
You’ll find their menu at the end of this post. It will be online as soon as they have time.
They're located at 338 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart. You can call them on 6231 0508 but they don't take reservations.