I’ve pretty much stayed clear away from this place after being previously turned away twice with over 2 hour long wait times. What got me back here and how long did I have to wait third time around? A friends birthday and a wait time of about 30 minutes which was doable considering we had to wait for the rest of the party to arrive anyways (yay!).
Artwork in the bar upstairs
Our names were taken at the door and we had the option of going upstairs to their bar to wait it out or come back in approximately 20-30 minutes. We did both, first venturing out onto O’Connell Street for a brisk walk and a looksee of restaurants in the area and then returning to Ruby Red to wait a bit more in their bar upstairs.
We were finally next and got seated indoors in one of their dining room areas with painted black boards around the room with the menus on them. Birthday girl was in charge of ordering and after a few recommendations from the other girls who have dined at Ruby Red before, we were ready and set for an Italian feast ahead.
Armed with our mis matched cutlery and crockery, we started on some complimentary house bread, olive oil and salt before the first of our dishes arrived.
One of the many blackboard menus, bresaola; $22.50 (large), arancini; $18.50 (large)
Bresaola was a dish of thinly sliced air dried beef with lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, served with rocket and shaved parmesan. Not so much a favourite with the table as there was too much lemon juice that it made everything too sour and tangy for our palates. The rocket and parmesan helped cut through the acidity but not enough to balance out the dish. The arancinis were demolished in seconds though! The outer layer was crunchy and non greasy holding a soft ball of cheesy goodness of calamari, peas and mushroom. The accompaniment of fresh tomato slices were genius too, they added a bright refreshment to each mouthful.
Cannelloni verdi; $13.00 (small), blackboard menu – anyone notice the lights and cord are actually shoe laces to the artwork on the board?, mezze maniche con gamberi; $26.50, maccheroni eggplant; $19.50
The last of our small dishes was the vegetable cannelloni. It doesn’t look the most presentable but don’t let that deter you, it was incredibly good and creamy; the pasta was cooked perfectly and the best part of it, there was a load of hidden vegetables in there! Spinach, pumpkin, mushroom, leek and asiago cheese. Mmmmmmm~ Our mains took a bit longer to come out but after we asked for an update with our waiter, the mains followed shortly there after.
Boy were the serving sizes big or what?! I’m glad the food here was made for sharing cause there was no way one human could have consumed one whole plate to themselves! Or could they? The mezze maniche con gamberi, or what we’d call it, prawn pasta with pancetta, zucchini, saffron and chilli had quite a kick of heat. The pasta could have done with a minute or two longer as it was still a bit too firm for our liking and there could have been a bit more prawn meat we thought, but aside from that, excellent flavours and the sauce coated each pasta nicely. Our other main of eggplant pasta sure packed a punch of flavours with smoked scamorza (Italian cow’s milk cheese, similar to mozzarella), dry ricotta and tomato. So tomato-ey and vibrant… and the pasta on this one was perfect. I couldn’t help but wished there was some meat stirred through the pasta though; the carnivore in myself can’t help it.. haha. The food was rustic, home cooking style, super comforting and most importantly, pretty darn good.
We finished off with a dessert of tortino al cioccolato with wild berries and fresh cream; $9.50 to share. The molten chocolate cakes (they give you two) were rich, moist and not for the faint hearted. One of us managed to smash through one of the cakes on her own (she shall not be named) before the others even managed to get a spoon in.. haha. The wild berries and fresh cream offered a nice balance to cut through the richness.
I’ll be sure to come back again and try their steak as I’ve heard great things about it, hopefully I won’t be met with a 1 hour wait cause that ain’t happening!
Ruby Red Flamingo
142 Tynte Street
North Adelaide SA 5006
P 08 8267 5769
Wed-Fri 12pm-2.30pm, 5.30pm-9.30pm