Pony Tale

Special thanks to Pony Tale De' Cafe for extending this food review invitation.

Opened in December 2015, Pony Tale De' Cafe is one the pioneer restaurants in SPICE Canopy. This family-oriented restaurant is located across the road from Pisa Corner Cafe.
Pony Tale draws inspiration from one of proprietors' travels around the world. Having been exposed to local delicacies in multiple countries, she strives to bring the best food from each culture under one roof. Pony Tale's menu emphasizes on natural ingredients and healthy cooking recipes.
This philosophy is exemplified by the Pony Wild Wild Mushroom Soup (RM16.80). Made from fresh shiitake and portobello (button) mushrooms, the mushy soup is infused with genuine mushroom goodness. Sautéed enoki mushrooms are added to produce the desired mouthfeel. This bowl of soup also comes with a slice of garlic bread.
Inspired by seafood stews from Sicily, Seafood Pumpkin Pot (RM29.80) is another highly recommended dish. This tomato-based stew is cooked with premium-quality New Zealand mussels, blue mussels and shrimps. According to the chef, the original Sicilian version is extremely thick, but this version is made lighter to suit the local palate.
The stew is served in a pumpkin bowl, which has been partially hollowed out to serve as a vessel. The pumpkin is baked so that the remaining flesh is sufficiently soft to be scraped off with a spoon. Indeed, there is still a substantial amount of pumpkin flesh remaining - but consuming all the starchy fibers can be surfeiting for some people.

Borrowing elements from Thai cuisine culminated in a peculiar-looking dish: Cuttlefish Steak (RM38.80). Cut from the cuttlefish's mantle, the steak is gently pan-fried to maintain its tenderness. The steak is then curled up and stuffed with aromatic herbs such as coriander and basil. Meanwhile, the Thai-style sauce helps to accentuate the cuttlefish with sweet and sour flavors. This unique dish includes mashed pumpkin gravy and sautéed vegetables on the side.
For light snacks, Apple Cinnamon Sweet Crêpe (RM14.80) is a sound choice. Batter is spread evenly on a hot plate until it solidifies. After adding homemade apple cinnamon sauce, the crêpe is folded over and rolled into a cone. Unlike the traditional French pastry, this crêpe is made crispier especially around the edges.
The crêpe is presented with additional apple cinnamon sauce, apple slices, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, icing sugar and cocoa powder. The crêpe is too unwieldy to be held by hand, so it is better to pluck off piece by piece.

As for beverages, Pony Tale has over 20 different types of juices and milkshakes. The drinks are categorized into 4 series by seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. There are also a decent range of hot and iced coffee drinks. Most coffee drinks are prepared from espresso, but manually-brewed coffee such as drip brews and cold drips are also available.

House blend coffee beans are grown and processed in Sumatra. Roasted to medium-dark, its Espresso (RM7.80) carries pleasant bitterness as it trickles down the throat. For coffee enthusiasts, Pony Tale also carries several single-origin blends that are available upon request.
On a hot day, a glass of Chococado Espresso (RM19.80) is the perfect remedy to cool the body. The key ingredient in this ice-blended drink is Indonesian avocado. Chocolate ice cream is added on top, while a shot of espresso is included separately.
According to the chef, Chococado Espresso is designed to be enjoyed in 3 stages. Firstly, one appreciates the refreshing sensation of ice-blended avocado. Next, chocolate ice cream is stirred into the drink, adding a harmonious dose of sweetness into the slushy mixture. For the finale, pour some espresso (amount according to personal preference) to enjoy another dimension of bitterness in this multifaceted beverage.

Hailing from the Spring Series is Green Bonanza (RM14.80), another ice-blended drink based on choy sum (菜心). Several types of fruits, such as apple and lemon, are also blended together. This results in fruity sweetness which negates the "leafiness" of choy sum. The glass of Green Bonanza is palatable even for people who naturally dislike eating green vegetables.
Pony Tale's menu is entirely pork-free. Keeping in line with its philosophy of healthy cooking, the kitchen does not use any artificial flavoring (MSG) nor coloring. Sauces and condiments are made from scratch wherever possible. I feel that the menu is well-crafted with customers' experience in mind, not solely for the kitchen's convenience.

Pony Tale will be opening a second outlet in Auto-City before Christmas this year. Occupying the former premise of Soho Country House, this new location will be significantly larger. Although the first outlet was opened without much fanfare, there will be a grand opening at the Auto-City restaurant.

Name: Pony Tale De' Cafe
Address: 180-B-01-11, SPICE Canopy, Jalan Tun Dr. Awang, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-611-1319
Business hours: 10:00am-10:00pm (Monday-Thursday), 10:00am-11:30pm (Friday), 8:30am-11:00pm (Saturday-Sunday)
Website: https://www.facebook.com/PonyTale.my
Coordinates: 5.32881 N, 100.27884 E
Directions: Pony Tale is located at SPICE Canopy, facing Jalan Tun Dr. Awang and Pisa Corner Cafe. There are parking spaces in front of the restaurant.

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