Thanks, yet again, to those wonderful gents at Ompty I was invited to attend an influencer’s dinner at Rubyos in Newtown. Now when eating out in Newtown the first thing that comes to mind is my sheer panic of “will I find a park?” The good news is Rubyos is located right at the beginning of King St on the CBD end of Newtown and I literally found a park across the road. Paid parking for 2hrs without concern.
The next thing that crossed my mind was what kind of hippy Newtown food eatery would I be eating at. This was easily relaxed when I walked in and discovered what feels like a somewhat formal venue. White linen table cloths and a near silver service set up. But at the same time the lovely artworks on the wall and the splashes of colour gave it a comforting and clean feel and immediately I was at home. It is the kind of venue set up in an old double terrace corner building that I would expect to see in Katoomba for fine dining, not in Newtown.
Our host was delightful and explained all the menu to us step by step. The venue opening hours are way down below but they do apparently serve breakfast, brunch and lunch that have been getting 5/5 reviews on Zomato. They also cater quite well to the vegetarian crowd and while I think you would be fine taking kids, I would prefer you didn’t haha.
The venue would be ideal for romantic dinners for two, parties of a dozen or more, corporate lunches or a simple friend’s gathering. Basically it would suit anything. We were a group of seven and as the menu is designed to be shared and grazed we were all incredibly satisfied.
On a side note – BYO bottled wine is acceptable but they also have an exceptional wine list. And their cocktails, especially the dessert ones, make me very excited.
We started with the first food picture up above – a Velvet Duck Liver Parfait. Gin flavoured, red currant & spanish onion relish and a freshly baked French stick. Rubyos started off strong, the flavours were sublime and I wasn’t too keen on sharing this dish. I love pâté and the rich duck flavours did not disappoint.
Following this we were served the above salad, Japanese Miso Chicken Salad. Minced chicken san choy bow style, water chestnuts, ginger, sesame, baby cos leaves tossed in miso dressing with fried shallots. It looked more salady than what it sounded but underneath the rabbit food was hidden joy and we all woofed this one down.
Following on from salad one was salad two. Smoked Salmon & Nori Seaweed Roulade (below). Smoked salmon filled with crab meat, accompanied with cream cheese, roasted wild seaweed flakes, salsa verde crème fraîche and micro herbs. One of the best dishes of the night. The flavours and texture were divine. That creamy sauce with the salmon and crab meat had me squealing. I want, nay need, this dish again.
Flash Fried Calamari:
As far as flavours for the night goes – this simple calamari stole the show for me for one simple reason. Lemon Myrtle. The calamari is seasoned in lemon myrtle and kibbled black pepper with a bed of wild rocket leaves and a sauce of chilli lime aioli. I am obsessed with lemon myrtle, I grow it, I cook with it and the smell of it makes me swoon. Add to the fact the dish was cooked to perfection and that chilli aioli brought the heat – we have a winner.
The pan-fried haloumi was also superb. I could live on the salty goodness of haloumi. Rubyos matched it with watermelon, coriander & mint salsa and a chilli oil drizzle. It was about now I realised I hated being in the restaurant with other influencers – sharing was not something I wished to partake in anymore for this meal. That salsa – just O M G.
Crushed Chat Potatoes:
The New York style crush spuds were also a table favourite. In fact now that I think about it I am struggling to find anything at fault with any of the dishes. These babies were extra crispy on the outside with a soft pillow cloud of spud on the inside. Sprinklings of mixed herbs and seasoned salt added to the flavours. I could do with a bowl of these for dinner tonight with the Chicken Schniddy I am about to cook.
Moroccan Spiced Skippy:
Rarely will I order kangaroo for dinner if I am out. I will eat it until the cows come home when mum is cooking it – ok – exception – her last attempt she served it basically raw and I sent it back to the kitchen. But generally mum cooks it to perfection. Kangaroo needs special cooking. It must be cooked HOT and QUICK. If you overcook these babies they turn into shoe hide and are not very enjoyable. Rubyos served their Moroccan Spiced Kangaroo Medallions grilled. With chives and spring onion desiree mash, gingered, green apple, sultana sauce and pomegranate molasses. And they bloody nailed it. It had the perfect gaminess, the perfect sauce combination, and the meat was as tender as it should be. Bravo
Oregano Marinated Roast Lamb Rump:
The (below) lamb was served with baked sweet potato puree and minted green pea chimichurri. Perfectly cooked and a superb dish loved by all. This and the roo I did not find ideal for a tapas sharing plate, these needed to be a main for a single person, both of those single people being me.
The dessert menu at Rubyos is wicked. Make sure you save a huge chunk of belly space, but the old saying will be accurate. You always find room for dessert. I recommend one dessert between two people, an affogato chosen out of the two on offer. Then a dessert cocktail each and wait until you see the dessert wines on offer. In fact I just need to visit here for a dessert dinner one day.
We kicked off with the Trio of Sorbets that seemed to drift down in the light from heaven. The trio of flavours was raspberry, mandarin and green apple. I would probably pick green apple as my favourite but it is really asking which is the favourite child.
We then followed the sorbet with a divine sticky date pudding. This one is no longer on the menu due to season change but I am sure it will back for winter.
Rubyos has been my favourite place the Ompty boys have taken me to. It is relaxed fine dining tapas style in a superb venue. If you love a good venue in the Newtown area push this one up your list. And check out their menus, there is so much more food I have not listed and that is only the dinner menu. Bon appétit.
PH: 02 9557 2669
BYO: Bottled Wine
KID FRIENDLY: Yes – but the venue is quite fancy in appearance
- dinner and drinks: Tuesday to Saturday from 530pm
- lunch: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm
- breakfast: Sunday from 9am to 12pm
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.