19 Oct 2012
Vegan MoFo 2012 – Blue Mountains vegan eats: Rubyfruit Café
This café in Leura is a true gem in the Mountains
It’s the end of week three of Vegan MoFo and time for another review. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I took a drive out to visit family in the Blue Mountains. We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to drive a little further and drop into Rubyfruit, a vegan bakery and café in Leura.
On weekends Rubyfruit also held stalls at local markets and their sweet treats proved to be very popular, often selling out. They’ve even kindly donated to a couple of our Sydney Vegan Bake Sales and I can testify that their products barely hit the table before being snapped up!
Word soon spread about Rubyfruit’s gourmet vegan fare and demand increased at an unexpected rate. With such success, the owners Amanda and Simone were able to take the next step and realise their dream of opening a vegan café.
So in May this year, Rubyfruit Bakery and Café officially opened its doors in Leura – yaay! Within a short time they were even voted as a finalist in the 2012 Blue Mountains Business Awards. It’s fantastic to see yet another vegan businesses thriving!
Ever since Rubyfruit opened I’ve been meaning to take a visit but it just hasn’t eventuated. I guess I put it off over winter due to a fear of the bitter cold. But with the seasons turning and the spring weather warming up, we picked a weekend to visit family and locked it in.
The morning we drove to the Mountains however, the weather turned unexpectedly sour. It had been a lovely sunny week but come Saturday the rain moved in. As we progressed further up the Mountains, the fog came with it.
The rain didn’t dampen our appetites though, and once we arrived in Leura, we went on a scenic walk to find the café.
After hitting the village centre, AKA Leura Mall, we entered an arcade off the main street. Here we found the stairway to vegan food heaven ;)
It was just on lunch time and the café was packed. It wasn’t too long before we got a table but while we waited, I took a look around.
The first thing I noticed was Rubyfruit’s cake counter filled with beautiful looking desserts. I got to chat with Amanda, one of the owners and asked about cakes on offer. I knew we’d be taking some home :)
The Banoffee Pie looked amazing (pictured middle shelf, far right). Amanda referred to it as their ‘fastest disappearing cake’ so I made sure I reserved a slice there and then.
Rubyfruit also stock many vegan food products for local convenience.
Once seated, we were keen to see the menu. We’d both skipped breakfast so were pretty hungry by this point. We started by ordering coffee.
As we scanned the menu and quite a few items made reference to the Specials Board. The decisions were going to be tough!
My husband suggested that we order three meals in addition to takeaway cake. He duly promised to polish off anything I couldn’t fit in ;)
After much umming and ahhing, we decided on the bangers & mash, burger & salad plus a pie & salad.
Lunch is served
Our drinks arrived and the coffee was great. Relief! We were off to a good start…
Bangers and mash with garlicky spinach and red wine gravy
I just had to try the Bangers & Mash so ordered it without any hesitation. I expected that it might not be the most attractive looking dish, but to my surprise it was presented beautifully.
The sausages were Linda McCartney brand and it was the first time I’d tried them. They were really full of flavour and had a slightly different texture than many other vegan sausages.
The mash was creamy and the gravy was rich and smooth. It’s been ages since I had proper mashed potatoes.
This was an outstanding dish. Gourmet comfort food!
The burger patty was an organic Bounty Burger which was served on a wholemeal roll with greens, beetroot & orange relish, caramelised onion jam and tomato sauce.
We added an extra slice of vegan cheese but the burger was so tasty, I would not add it next time.
The Bounty Burger was served with a delicious raw rainbow salad.
Mushroom chunk, wine and peppercorn pie
A big call I know, but this is the best vegan pie I’ve eaten to date.
The pastry was flaky and the flavour was delicious, certainly not sloppy or bland. This mushroom pie was so good, I didn’t even want sauce! *gasp* ;)
The pie came with a side of coleslaw salad which was light and crunchy.
As you can see from the photos, Rubyfruit really have a flair for food presentation. I think the way we present vegan food is so important. After all, we eat with our eyes first.
Attractive food presentation also goes some way to dispelling misconceptions from non-vegans that our food may be boring or deprived. And with so many tourists and general public travelling through Leura, Rubyfruit’s great looking dishes and extensive menu are what’s going to get them through the door, vegan or otherwise.
Positive vegan food activism FTW!
So after sharing three delicious dishes, our bellies were full. We thanked the staff and headed to the counter to grab our takeaway cake and pay the bill.
Luckily we pre-ordered our slices beforehand… just look at the cabinet after an hour! The Banoffee Pie and many others had indeed disappeared.
Here’s what our takeaway stash looked like. Forgive their slightly smooshed state as I squashed the container top.
Takeaway: Banoffee Pie & Chocolate Raspberry Bliss Cake
We ate both pieces for dessert later that night and true-to-form, they were excellent. I can totally understand why Rubyfruit’s desserts fly out of their cabinet!
By now I’ve probably said the words delicious and tasty way too many times. So I’ll just summarise: Massive thumbs-up to Rubyfruit. Top-notch vegan nosh….Go there now!
We are already planning our next visit and can’t wait to attack their breakfast menu.
If you are planning a visit to Rubyfruit and want to buy cake, I recommend getting there before lunch to have the widest selection. If you miss out, you can always take comfort in their extensive daily Specials Board.
Location and contact
Rubyfruit Bakery and Café is at Shop 10, 166-168 Leura Mall, Leura.
Make sure you like Rubyfruit’s Facebook page. They update it regularly and I guarantee you’ll be salivating over their specials and cake photos :)