Ruby's Diner

Cute corner: Ruby's has friendly staff, killer food and brilliant coffee.
Cute corner: Ruby's has friendly staff, killer food and brilliant coffee. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

1/173-179 Bronte Road Waverley, New South Wales 2024

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Opening hours Mon-Sun 7am-4pm
Features Gluten-free options, Outdoor seating, Family friendly
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Phone 0404 379 585

The primal burger at Ruby's Diner is a good 'un. A thick slab of grass-fed beef, beetroot relish, vintage cheddar, tomato, egg, and pickles on a … hang on a minute - where's the bun?

Ruby's has answered the call from a growing number of consumers who want to enjoy eating out while sticking to their paleo, gluten-free, carb-free, sugar-free and hashtag-heavy diets.

"Now wait a minute, sport," I can hear you saying. "A burger without a bun is just a rissole with salad."

The bun-less primal burger.
The bun-less primal burger. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

Yeah, well maybe it is. But there's a secret weapon at play here: the poached egg. Open that bad boy up and let its golden river flow across the plate and through the rocket and beetroot. You can then revel in the decadence of bathing each forkful of beef in delicious yolk. The experience is almost enough to make one renounce burger buns completely (almost).

Ed Devlin and Emma Knowles opened Ruby's Diner in 2008. It underwent a renovation in late 2013, swallowing the site next door and doubling in size. One wall opens onto the street, letting the ghost of a sea breeze waft in and on the opposite side there's a blue and white mural by local artist Steve Smith that might be the sleeve tattoo of a seafaring giant. It's a very cute place.

The footpath hosts a cavalry of strollers and dogs in the mornings and later in the day head-sore inner-easties float in for the all-day breakfast menu. Slow-cooked five-grain porridge with baked quince, pistachio crumble and buttermilk ($14) maybe, or a raw breakfast salad with kale, feta, avocado, poached eggs and activated hazelnuts ($19).

It's not all the type of health food that keeps grown men awake at night, though. Ruby's also does a croque monsieur ($16), most burgers actually do have buns and a chocolate and walnut brownie with Serendipity white chocolate ice-cream ($8) is rich, dense and devilishly good. Cronuts are supplied daily from Brewtown Newtown and the croissant/donut hybrids continue to assert themselves as one frankenfood that should never leave us (the same sentiment does not apply to you, "ramen burger").

For the most part, coffee comes courtesy of Single Origin's Killer-Bee blend but other beans cameo at a slow-brew bar that does Moccamaster filter, pour over, and cold drip. A deftly made espresso ($3.80) of Reuben Hills Yirgacheffe Kochere bean is a delicate drop with pleasing (albeit odd) notes of green and black tea.

Ruby's has everything a great cafe should: friendly staff, killer food, and brilliant coffee. Best head there soon before the weekend queue hits Bronte Beach.

THE LOW-DOWN
Do …
get in early to nab one of the sugar-free superfood muffins.
Don't …
stick too hard to the diet. Treat yourself to glazed cronut.
Dish …
primal burger with grass-fed beef ($18).
Vibe …
a local hangout engineered for sudoku completion and post-soccer lunch with the kids.

http://www.rubysdiner.com.au/