Sunday, 13 October 2013

Breakfast Series - Ruby Cafe

What happens when you turn off the alarm on a Sunday morning?  Of course you sleep in!  But when you had plans to head off for breakfast, sleeping in can be quite painful.  We had to decide if we were still going to go for breakfast pretty quickly when we eventually crawled out of bed.  The risk we ran was that everywhere would be packed, we would drive around looking for somewhere that wasn't and then eventually give up and come home for cornflakes.  On the other hand, I didn't want cornflakes, I wanted to be spoiled for breakfast and have someone else do the cooking.

Armed with a list of breakfast spots in the Paddington area we decided to give it a crack and jumped in the car to try our luck.  The plan was we would drive past a place and if it looked OK, I would jump out and score a table while SC went and parked the car.  A simple plan and if executed effectively it could mean the difference between eating out or coming home with our tail between our legs.  First name on our list was Ruby Cafe on Given Terrace and as luck would have it there was no queue.  It was a good start, so I was out of the car and into the cafe in a flash.  Unfortunately, someone else had the same idea and were just in front of me, fortunately there were two tables free and I managed to score one.

It didn't take long for me to have a good look around Ruby Cafe, it's not huge inside but does have two stories with a downstairs section available (which I didn't see) and quite a decent alfresco area on Given Terrace.  The cafe is very simply decorated with exposed lights hanging from the ceiling and little bird motifs in simple frames decorating one wall.  The rest of the cafe is kitchen and serving area where you can watch the shakes and coffees made by the barista.

As I sat there with a couple of menus waiting for SC to join me I witnessed a number of other couples and groups turn up only to be told there were no tables, so our timing was perfect and the plan a winner.  I had a bit of time to look over the menu while I was waiting for SC, which was described as the Autumn 2013 all day menu.  I really liked the layout and labelling of the menu which had terms like 'something breakY', 'something to add to breakY' and 'something lunchie'.  The breakfast was not what I would call extensive but it had some interesting contemporary options with a few traditional items thrown in for good measure.

Once SC arrived our waitress promptly returned and offered to get us some drinks with SC originally asking for a weak latte with zymil but settling for a english breakfast tea when advised that they were all out of zymil. I went for a smoothie but was a bit dubious of the smoothie options, I didn't like the sound of banana and coconut so went with the only other option of peaches and honey.  I was actually pretty surprised with how much I enjoyed the flavours of the smoothy, they were really nice, but the texture was more like a milkshake, I think it needed more fruit or some yoghurt added.  When SC's tea arrived the waitress checked in to see if she wanted milk with the tea, remembering that she asked for zymil with the coffee.  It was a great touch and excellent service.

It was interesting watching SC select her breakfast this morning, she mentioned that she felt like something sweet but really had her heart set on the bubble and squeek hash cakes with poached eggs.  I really thought she would order this too, right up until she ordered the jam doughnut toasted brioche with mascarpone chantilly and muddled strawberries.  Well, I guess a girl can change her mind but when the table next to us had their bubble and squeek delivered, SC really started to question why she changed her mind at the last moment.  All was soon forgotten once the jam doughnut brioche thingy was delivered, it looked and smelled amazing.  The brioche was incredibly light and covered with cinnamon and incredibly tasted like a doughnut. The chantilly cream was a great addition and when it was mixed with the strawberries was just like a jam doughnut.  It was a really big serving but SC polished the whole lot off in record time. 

I was of course still trying to find Brisbane's best scrambled eggs so chose the eggs your way (scrambled of course) with oven dried cherry tomatoes, gremolata mushrooms and double smoked bacon.  It's not often that you get cherry tomatoes with breakfast and I found them to be an interesting and tasty addition to the plate. Where roma tomatoes have a richer flavour, the cherry tomatoes had a sharper tomato flavour which was offset nicely by the sweet chilli tomato jam that they were sitting on.  The gremolata mushrooms were really interesting and something I had not seen before, but the gremolata added some great texture and flavour to the well seasoned mushrooms.  The scrambled eggs, which were spread out over sourdough toast were also really well seasoned, were light and fluffy and had nice flavour.  I left the bacon until last this morning and wasn't disappointed with the subtle smoky flavour but unfortunately was quite full and left a whole rasher behind.

It was really busy when we first arrived at Ruby Cafe and I was expecting slow service and long waits for our food and neither eventuated.  The staff were friendly and were on top of their game for the morning, with the drinks and meals coming out without delay.  SC really loved the way her tea was delivered on an extra little tray and the pot size was just right for her to have two cups of tea, so she was a happy camper.

We were really lucky with the timing of our arrival and got pretty good seats but I noticed that about 30 minutes after we arrived that the crowd thinned out a little bit and there were some free tables about.  It's interesting to watch the ebb and flow of the Sunday morning breakfast crowd, last week when we were out it was quiet and this week much busier.  I think I need to work on our timing for heading out to breakfast, I hate getting up really early but it seems like there may be 'goldilocks' time to head out for breakfast.

By the time we left Ruby Cafe, we were feeling pretty good with the world, we had just consumed some lovely breakfast and skies were clear and the warmth of the day was coming on.  On a day like this with a full belly, anything is possible.  

SC loved the little tray the tea came with - very elegant 
The brioche really tasted like a jam doughnut
The gremolata on the mushrooms was interesting and lovely
The view from the back of Ruby Cafe - seriously!
The kitchen hard at work
Not a large cafe upstairs, but quite a few people were enjoying their breakfast
I am seeing huge jars of nutella everywhere!
Lovely day to be sitting outside
Ruby Cafe on UrbanspoonRuby Cafe

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