Former Pony Dining site is now Woodland Kitchen and Bar
Enter Woodland Kitchen Bar in Neutral Bay and the first thing you’ll notice is where the name comes from. Long wooden beams hover above head, wooden floorboards below and a large wooden bar steal your focus. If the world were to flood tomorrow this Noah’s Ark is where you’d want to be- a glass of aged red in hand.
If the address looks familiar you may have been here before when it was Pony Lounge and Dining. Head Chef Damian Heads had been working with the restaurant group for several years including Fuel Bistro, Steal Bar and Grill and Pony in The Rocks. Along with his wife Jenni who runs front of house Woodland Kitchen and Bar is the duos first solo restaurant venture.
The space has been transformed into a casual bistro with a lot of new dishes on the menu as well as a few favourites from the Pony days. To everyone’s delight the wood fire grill is still roaring and a big flavour focus.
Start with some Sydney rock oysters ($3.80 each) served with sherry vinegar then order (my favourite dish on the menu) the seared scallops with green pawpaw, cucumber, lime, chilli and peanuts ($22). The citrus cured salmon with avocado, fennel and cress ($12.50) is cured on the premises and a nice starter.
The main options are aplenty including three different types of steak, a dry aged Angus burger, tiger prawn tagliatelle, chimichurri chicken and pork cutlets. We continue our seafood bender and order the salmon with pickled beetroot, orange, feta and mint ($28) and the blue eye trevalla with cauliflower cream, spinach and broad beans ($34). The Salmon arrives straight from the wood fire marked with large char crosses indented into the fish. It’s a little over cooked for our liking but the blue eye trevalla is superb.
After such generous mains it’s hard to consider dessert but the caramel and chocolate tart with double cream and honeycomb ($14.50) is a must try. It’s rich and decadent, surprisingly not too sweet but I suggest ordering one between two.
The food at Woodland isn’t ground breaking. You wont find any deconstructed dishes or fancy foams here. Instead, you’ll experience good honest food with locally sourced ingredients and flavour combinations that work. It’s a nice place to come with a group of friends after work or for a relaxed dinner on the weekend. They also offer a simple breakfast menu on the weekend including French toast, breakfast bruschetta and a wood fire grilled breakfast.
Woodland Kitchen and Bar
Shop 2 / 19-25 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay
02 9904 3400
Open Breakfast Sat-Sun 10am-12pm, Lunch Tues – Sun from 12-3pm, Dinner Tue-Sat from 6pm, Bar Tue-Sat from 12pm