As you have probably gathered by now, I’ve moved around a fair bit and am actually quite lucky because of it. Why? Because I can make my way around most suburbs of Sydney without fear, judgement or caution. When you’ve traversed from Merrylands to Mittagong and everything in between, nothing fazes you. Another reason why this is great is because you get to discover local foodie gems of every kind. From A&A Cake Shop that does the best pandan chiffon cake in Cabramatta to the only café worthy of brunching at in Bankstown (here’s looking at you Chinchilla Coffee House) to the modern elegance that is dining at Granata’s in Pemulwuy; whether for breakfast or after-work drinks. I feel blessed, as funny as that sounds in this context.
So I’d like to think that if I make an effort to explore a locale even after I’ve moved from its vicinity, it’s a winner. Which is why I keep going on about Bondi – it stole my heart. I can’t get over this stunning section of Sydney so it’s lucky I still work there and can dig deeper into my list of places to try. Ruby’s Diner had been sitting away on that list for a year before a get-together was finally planned. Every time I catch the bus to work, I pass the pastel blue box bubbling with families, couples, friends and acquaintances at Ruby’s. It’s such a pretty site to see.
When you get to the more-café-than-diner, friendly staff will get you to put your name on a list and if you’re lucky, you’re at the top. As we were one fine autumn’s day, woo! Once seated, you’ll notice the beachy feel of the place – think coats of white paint over bricked walls, murals of waves and surfy things and almost a blonde shade of timber for stools and tables. It’s very cool and casual, in a homely kind of way. Drinks are creative and, as Bondi tends to be, health-conscious. I’m talking menu items like Prana wet organic chai, house-brewed kombucha on tap (the first café that does it), cold-pressed juices and blended breakfast types (usually involving banana and almond milk).
My companion went with Monkey Magic ($9) – banana, cinnamon, almond milk, dates and chia seeds – all thick, smooth and creamy. Soon after, my Japanese Sencha and Rose tea ($4.50) arrived. Love my green tea but honestly, I can never taste the difference! Lunch was brought out in a timely manner and was presented in the typical eastern suburbs way (AKA: with lots of greenery). The Primal Burger (no bun) ($18) with grass-fed organic beef, beetroot relish, tomato, rocket, pickles and a poached egg ($18) was balanced well, the smokey and spicy pattie doing wonders to tie the flavours together.
My lunch was a little less inspiring but still pretty damn good. I was craving a sambo so the Vego ($11) with feta, roast carrot puree, eggplant and mint ticked the right boxes. Sandwiches are served up on Iggy’s sourdough, known for its chewy innards and crunchy crust. I couldn’t taste the mint but the sweet, rich puree was exactly what I wanted it to be.
A satisfying lunch and a lot of catching up later, our sweet toothes were calling. The cold bar was full of healthifying sweet treats like vegan chocolates and cakes so it was only fitting to get a Raw Almond and Chocolate Cake ($6.50) supplied by Wellness by Tess. I was eyeing the cronuts but the cake was the perfect end to a great meal. If you’re new to vegan desserts, set expectations aside and just enjoy them for what they are – don’t expect a fudgey, gooey mess but embrace a more solid texture with a slight creaminess and chewiness from the nuts. It’s a creative take on a traditional favourite but keep comparisons aside and you’ll leave perfectly happy.
Ruby’s Diner, 173-179 Bronte Rd, Waverley NSW, 0404 379 585. Find them on Facebook.