Pop up restaurants are trendy at the moment. Find an old shed, warehouse or disused mechanic shop and move in a street food van. Add some trestle tables, milk crates wired together, cushions from a department store, and place the tables and chairs whenever there is space. Create the table numbers from, again, anything you can find in the homewares aisles in the local department store, put the sugar, cutlery and napkins in old jam jars, an assortment of crockery and finger bowls from the bric-à-brac aisles of an op shop – drinking glasses are also jam jars where appropriate – and don’t forget the industrial fans on the walls and both roller doors up for flow through ventilation, menu written on butcher paper or a sheet of 6mm ply coated in chalkboard paint, a couple of fridges and deck out the old crib room to meet the minimum environmental health standards and voila! Instant cafe……
It’s a guaranteed success in today’s cafe market with a penchant for all things sustainable, organic, rustic, low key, and temporary.
And that, dear reader, pretty much sums up Ruby G’s on Dick Ward Drive at Coconut Grove. Except for the wildly eclectic music selection and friendly and courteous waitstaff, some of who attempt to dance to the salsa while serving the tables….
I called into Ruby G’s recently when I was out and about cruising on the new motorbike and looking for a Sunday breakfast. Wanting to start with a simple egg dish, two poached eggs on toast seem to be just right for the order, along with a skinny macchiato and a raspberry and almond friand.
The eggs promptly arrived first – no waiting here today. Two perfectly poached eggs were served up hot, still steaming and with runny yolks, along with a tumble of rocket thrown on top. Underneath this stack were two slices of wonderful looking wholemeal house baked bread, and accompanied by small finger dishes containing salt flakes and butter. This may sound like a very simple meal, but it was exactly as ordered. In summary, this meal was the perfect picture of great value.
Just as I started eating the coffee arrived. This was just what the ‘doctor’ had ordered. The coffee was strong and bold, rich and robust and a great kick starter to the day with a wonderfully mellow aftertaste.
Afterwards, the friand was simply scrumptious. Forget those mass produced items looking perfect and pretty and still sitting in their waxed paper baking tray from the big chain cake makers. This home made friand was full of flavour and you could sense that nothing had been scrimped on in the baking process: the toasted almond slivers and raspberries sat upon a generously sized friand which was still slightly gooey on the top…. This was a revelation as to what a good friand should be and I’m running the risk of now judging all future friands by this very one. After eating I still had a shower of almond slivers on my plate that had fallen off while eating. These were wonderful to nibble on while writing up my notes….
Ruby G’s was jam packed with diners when I entered and the only table available was an 8 seater share table which I parked myself and my bike gear on. I was soon asked if I could share the remaining portion of the table with a lovely couple who was waiting for company, who apparently couldn’t find their car keys and consequently didn’t show…. I surprised myself by saying yes as I’m one of those whose school report card constantly read ‘timid – does not play well with others’.
And I must have arrived on the end of the morning breakfast rush for while I was eating the place emptied out and the patronage became a steady flow of people coming in for takeaway coffees. If their coffees were like mine I know they’d be happy customers.
So, what we have here at Ruby G’s is value; but more than that Ruby G’s also offers great service and scrumptious food perfectly cooked. If you can look past the raw industrial look, feel and smell, this is a charming cafe with its own vibe and atmosphere. One where the total is greater than the sum of its parts……