Ruby 4

Mar 22, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Italian

Another hidden gem today. Down an otherwise uninspiring side-alley lies a cafe hidden behind a crowd that’s animated and bursting from exit. A hard-core of regulars, the customers seem to know what they want and immediately exit once ordered. As a cafe Ruby, our lunch choice today, has outgrown its custom, but still manages to pull-off an excellent lunch.

When entering you quickly feel of the buzz of the place. A team of four fly around the kitchen – the front of which acts an impromptu order station. It’s nice to see the food made fresh in front of you and the energy and speed with which they work is mesmerising. This is not somewhere to go for customer service though – the key here is speed and your order is taken from you as if handing a baton from one runner to the next.


once you get past the slap-dashery of it all you’ll find it’s Italian cooking done right


The choice on offer is quite large. They also have around four specials that change on a daily basis. As someone who’s often stuck with the vegetarian or fish option, I’m glad to report that there’s a wide enough breadth to cater for almost all culinary needs.

Expect to spend around £6 for a meal here – not including drink. This puts it around the upper-middle of our local eateries, which is fairly priced considering the food itself.

The food is roughly based around an italian theme, with slight deviations here and there. On this particular day I decided to go for a special – the tagliatele crab and leek, which was £6. The first thing that you’ll notice when getting ready to tuck in to your lunch is that the food isn’t the prettiest. This is partly caused by the containers that it’s provided in – non-branded aluminium rectangles of cheap and un-inspiring uselessness.

The food is heaped  in to the container as part of the chef’s final sprint to the finishing line – with significantly less grace than shown by Usain Bolt. To judge the food on the its look alone would do Rubys a sorry disservice though. For, once you get past the slap-dashery of it all, you’ll find it’s Italian cooking done right. Fresh ingredients, quickly and simply cooked to bring out the natural flavourings of its constituent parts. Together the flavours sing, with the natural dryness of the crab matched by the oily sweetness of the leeks. Well seasoned and with an uncomplicated beauty, I was happy to crown this my favourite meal of the week.

So,  a simple lunch, reasonably priced and presented in the most uncomplicated way. An experience in fast food with quality intact. For £6 I was more than happy – though despite the few chairs on offer this is definitely a take-away experience.


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