REVIEW: Rupert & Ruby

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Since Kickstarter launched I have personally help crowdfund a book I haven’t read and an iPhone gaming accessory that I crammed into the back of a drawer with my least favourite socks after about 30 seconds of trying to make it work. Rupert & Ruby is a new cafe on Stanley St, and the first instance of crowdfunding that hasn’t made me seethe with regret.

Rupert & Ruby is the latest occupant of Icon Park, the space that use crowdfunding to finance new tenants, raising the necessary funds needed to open a new restaurant or bar space. The Rupert part comes from Bondi restaurant Fat Rupert’s, while the Ruby comes from Ruby’s BBQ, an American barbecue pop up named after the wife of the Fat Rupert’s head chef, Eli Challenger. Eli has a passion for barbecue and Southern cooking, and Rupert & Ruby is a cafe where almost everything on the menu has a little nod to the South.

There’s a smoker at Fat Rupert’s, and much of the menu at Rupert & Ruby utilises that cast iron flavour machine, with the smoked chicken salad and the smoked vegetable gratin both benefiting from a welcome hit of schmoke. Even the Big Poppa burger gets a little fire – the meat in the patty is a mixture of chuck and smoked brisket. It’s a completely different texture to what you’re used to in a burger – it may have been even better with a little more fat through the patty. You can easily make up for that lost fat after your meal with dessert – a maple cheesecake with chocolate bacon and popcorn – or even before your meal with breakfast, waffles with fried chicken and ice cream. You might want to crowdfund a bigger belt after eating here though.

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