i was privileged to be invited to the summer menu launch for ringwood north café/restaurant ‘rubiki’ last week. whilst its not an area i would regularly frequent, the north-east/east outskirts of melbourne are really a hotspot at the moment as people look for close proximity and accessibility to the city whilst still being able to enjoy the quietness of the larger suburban blocks and ‘green space’. it doesn’t hurt that its also the gateway to the dandenongs and yarra valley!
it was an intimate evening, with only a handful of fellow food-bloggers and we were joined by the owners and small team at rubiki for a showcase of the new menu by head chef, ben duncan. the owners of rubiki and chef ben have a real focus on sourcing local ingredients wherever possible – including the yarra valley wine served on the evening – and as such every dish was fresh and the quality of the ingredients really shined through. their simple philosophy is to be a local cafe serving outstanding food and drinks in a welcoming environment, by starting each day with hearty all-day breakfast offerings and working up to satisfying lunches and plenty of snacks and delicious treats in between.
throughout the night we were treated to a number of the new dishes including:
- crispy chili chicken pieces with harissa mayo
- polenta chips with rosemary salt & tomato relish
- pulled pork taco with black bean salsa and cauliflower tortillas
- slider trio of chicken with rocket, roast beetroot + saffron mayo; beef with gruyere, tomato sauce, dijon & pickle; lamb kofta with hummus, harissa + preserved lemon
- twice baked goats cheese soufflé with caramelised onions, tomatoes, rocket
- super green salad with wilted kale, blanched broccolini, ancient grains + pomegranate seeds dressed with a spiced citrus vinaigrette
- crispy skinned atlantic salmon with watercress and toasted walnut salad, rosemary polenta chips + horseradish
the standout dishes for me during the evening were: the pulled pork tacos which were served on cauliflower tacos – a unique combination trialled and tested by ben himself; and the salmon. both had beautiful flavour and showed that this establishment is really trying to make a name for themselves in the area.
rubiki is also open for brunch and serve up one of my all-time favourites, padre as their brew… so next time you’re heading to or from a day trip to the ‘country’, be sure to stop in for a coffee, meal or snack if you get the chance.
verdict: a standout in the ringwood area
(note: inlovewithbrunch dined as a guest of rubiki, however all remarks and reviews are honest and genuine)