Part Jewish deli, salad-as-a-meal merchant and brunch whisperer, Miss Ruben has the makings of a perfect-storm canteen/cafe for a quick meal or for fridge-fillers.
The seating may be limited – for now, with just 25-odd stools around one big table, plus a few along the front bar – but the choice of food is plentiful.
On the brunch front, there's raw vegan muesli, carrot-and-dill latke (potato fritters) with cured salmon and poached egg, and the brekkie "ruben" – named for owner, Amanda Ruben, who sold her Cooper and Milla's cafes (in Armadale and Toorak) two years ago. It's a lightly toasted bagel loaded with thick cuts of pastrami that's made on-site using Cape Grim beef, plus a fried egg and cos lettuce.
Sandwiches, from $12 to $16, include smoked-whitefish salad, red onion, tomato and rocket on rye, and a 200-gram pastrami on rye, with red kraut and a pickle – also made on-site.
Choose two ($14.50) or three ($21.50) salads from the great glass counter, such as tri-colour beetroot with sauteed leaves and candied walnuts, tabbouleh, or roasted cauliflower with pine nuts, chilli and date molasses yoghurt.
In the fridges at the front of the shop are take-home bits and pieces, such as cured salmon, that pastrami, chicken soup, matzo balls, dips, and lasagne. Whole roast chooks and lamb shoulders ($40 each) are also available to take home.
Miss Ruben is a clean, open, no-fuss space, lean on just-coz adornments. Do as the lady says (and has had painted on the wall): "Stay Humble, Eat Like a King".
Open Mon–Fri 7am–6pm, Sat–Sun 7am–4pm.
76 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea, 03 9042 5933