A few weeks ago we ventured up the freeway to the beautiful Blue Mountains. It was a stunning Spring day, and a perfect day for a drive. Our destination was vegan cafe and boutique bakery Rubyfruit, in Leura. I first heard of Rubyfruit in 2012 after my friend Vik from Two Vegan Girls told me about it. The owners Simone and Amanda used to bake cakes and desserts for shops in the inner west of Sydney, but decided to branch out on their own. I had tried their cupcakes before, but was keen to try the other food on offer. We stopped in a few months after they first opened on the way to Dubbo. Our son was thrilled about being able to order anything, and we were thrilled that the anxiety that normally crops up when we eat out was gone. He has been asking to return for a while, so we promised him that when he reached a certain reading level we would take him as a reward. Luckily for him, he achieved this pretty quickly!
Rubyfruit is hidden upstairs in a little arcade off the Leura Mall. It’s only small, but they are very quick to serve food so there is a high turn over of tables. This is a definite plus when dining with small, hungry children. We didn’t feel rushed at all, and Simone was very happy to have a chat with us. Luckily, we had the pick of tables when we walked in, but it soon filled up again.
There is a standard table menu, and also a board full of specials. There are so many delicious choices, and even my family who still eat meat where incredibly satisfied with the food offered. The Summer menu has delicious salads and burgers, while the Winter one features tummy-warming soups and pies.
Green Goddess juice
The menu also boasts a large range of drinks, including fresh juices, milk shakes and organic soft drinks. My son had a caramel milk shake, with home made caramel sauce (so tasty!), and my husband ordered a Green Goddess juice. He had tasted one on our first visit and was looking forward to the sequel! It was so refreshing not having to make sure the drinks for the kids were made with soy milk – it certainly takes the stress out of eating out.
Ordering lunch was difficult, as for once there was too much choice. The kids wanted the try the sausage rolls, made with delicious flaky pastry. I don’t think they noticed that it didn’t contain meat, and polished off every last piece. They also offer a delicious ‘cheeze’, spinach, quinoa and tofu roll that I tried last time, which was lovely.
Vegan sausage roll. Yes, I was that person – ‘Can I just take a photo before you eat it?’
My husband and I couldn’t decide what to have, so shared a Ruby burger (brown rice and black bean patty, with salad, and a rainbow salad on the side) and a power salad.
The burger bun was so fresh, and the flavours worked beautifully together. I want to try and find a similar recipe for a burger patty as it was just delicious. If you order a meal that comes with a side salad, there are three to choose from. It is so nice for a side salad to mean more than a few wilted pieces of lettuce, and a slice of cucumber drenched with dressing. The rainbow salad had fresh beetroot, grated carrots and crunchy lettuce.
Our salad was huge, and topped with hommus and avocado. I’m a big fan of avocado in salad, but have never thought to put hommus in there as well. It’s an addition I will be trying a lot this Summer. We both commented that while we were full, and couldn’t fit more in, it was ‘nice’ full not that sick full feeling that you get from junky food. The produce is fresh, and obviously made with a lot of care.
The thing the kids were most excited about were the desserts. They have an amazing selection of cupcakes, cheesecakes and sweets, all served with soy ice-cream or whipped coconut cream (to die for!). For our bakery deprived kids, this was something extra special. I had been looking forward to trying the coconut cream, as I have been wanting to make it at home, but needed an example of the consistency.
We were full, but there’s always room for dessert, right? We tried a lemon and raspberry cheesecake, made with a vegan cream cheese. It was the best cheesecake I have ever tasted – light and fluffy with a beautiful flavour. The base was chewy and the cheesecake itself was firm. The coconut cream complimented the cake, and we all had a taste test. It has inspired me to try making a vegan cheesecake for Christmas time. I shall let you know how I go!
The biggest small one was looking forward to trying the red velvet cupcake again, and decided to sample it with a side of soy ice cream. I don’t think anyone else got a look in with this dessert, as he demolished it pretty quickly! All of the desserts are presented beautifully… You won’t be able to say no!
I took home a blondie, made with white chocolate and macadamia. I attempted to just have half as my dessert that night, but managed to eat the whole thing. Whoops! The kids brought home another cupcake each (along with some rice milk chocolate), which they thoroughly enjoyed. There are plenty of take home and take away options, with wraps, salads and desserts all pre-made and ready to go.
Vegan groceries can be incredibly hard to come across, especially in isolated areas. We have to order our cheese from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney a few days before we need it, and many people refuse to stock it as there is not much demand. Rubyfruit has a huge selection of vegan groceries, including faux meats, cheeses, coconut ice cream, beauty products, and a variety of cooking supplies. It is great that the people of the Blue Mountains have this selection at their finger tips.
We enjoyed out second visit to Rubyfruit, and we can’t wait to return. I think we will be making the trek up to the Mountains fairly regularly, unless we can convince Simone and Amanda to open a franchise closer to us!
If you are looking for a fast, healthy, absolutely delicious meal, look no further than Rubyfruit. If you have never tried vegan food, and are feeling a little curious, I really think this is the best place to dip your toe in. It’s similar enough to non-vegan food to make you feel comfortable, but so delicious you may even consider a plant-based diet. Tips are donated to a different animal charity each month, but it is not a ‘preachy’ environment and everyone is made to feel welcome and comfortable. We are looking forward to our next lunch date already!
What is the best lunch you have ever eaten? Ever tried a specialty vegan/vegetarian restaurant? Would you try one?
* Rubyfruit can be found at Shop 10, 166-168 Leura Mall, Leura, NSW, 2780, or contacted on 0432 963 663.