Leura has a vegan cafe that I'd heard of long before our plans to visit the Blue Mountains, thanks to The Lentil Institution and Little Vegan Bear. Pretty much every time Michael wanted to plan some detail of our mini-holiday, I'd try to insert a visit to Rubyfruit into the schedule. This was probably starting to grate on him but I (or Rubyfruit) clearly did alright because we ate there three times in three days.
Our first visit was for breakfast on a drizzly Saturday morning. Michael settled in with his usual soy flat white ($4), while I sampled their chai latte ($4.50). It was tough to choose our meals with chia pudding, polenta pancakes and scrambled tofu all on offer.
Michael actually skipped straight to the specials board and ordered the Oriental Bowl ($18) - greens, tomatoes, pickled ginger, avocado, shredded nori, kimchi, tamari ginger tempeh skewers and a miso dressing on a bed of black bean noodles. He made short work of it, declaring between mouthfuls that we should start cooking with these noodles ourselves.
I was famished and, in an uncharacteristic move, took on the Big Cook-up ($18). I worked my way through two dense but tasty little Linda McCartney sausages, some exceptional garlic fried mushrooms, sauteed baby spinach and roast tomatoes, two hash browns, a cup of sweet baked beans and two slices of sourdough. (Actually, I couldn't make it through the second piece of toast but I still considered myself victorious.) It was wonderful, and obliterated any need for lunch.
On Sunday morning we set off on the Prince Henry cliff walk in spite of the rain and mist, returning to Leura mid-afternoon, damp and hungry (a few highlights are included in a slideshow at the end of the post). A mango, passionfruit and coconut smoothie ($9) instantly brought a smile to my face with its Weiss bar flavours.
Michael dug into a satay tofu wrap ($15) with a rainbow salad side. The battered and fried tofu strips were padded out with fresh salad veges, and he was really impressed by the complex, rich peanut sauce.
I was in the mood for the special Schnitzel Burger ($16.50). The lazy-but-good Fry's patty was supported by more great greens (I picked the same rainbow salad side), generous aioli and 'slaw and a crusty bun.
Honestly, I'd spent all weekend mooning over the cake cabinet and was pretty insistent that we stop by for morning tea before setting off for Sydney on Monday. I started out with a sweet and frothy hazelnut milk shot through with Heilala vanilla syrup ($5).
I was sad that Saturday's peanut butter cheesecake was sold out and not replenished, but the cherry coconut ripple cheesecake ($8) was ample compensation - a silky smooth slice with all the right elements that didn't go over the top.
The triple chocolate hazelnut brownie ($5.50) was square, dark and handsome. Heated up and intensely flavoured with a dollop of cool coconut whipped cream ($1.50), it might've been the high point of our three thoroughly enjoyable meals.
We'd enthusiastically recommend Rubyfruit to any veg*ns visiting the Blue Mountains - they've got a great array of savoury dishes (including well-marked gluten-free options) and the sweets cabinet is superlative. Service was sometimes slow, but always warm and capable. Their talents are no secret, so get in early or be prepared to wait for a table.
Rubyfruit attracts visits and praise from numerous veg*n bloggers visiting the Blue Mountains, see Vegan Westie, miscdebris, Vegans Have Superpowers, Little Vegan Bear, Thinking Creature (in Russian!), VegeTARAian, ALL THINGS BEAUTY AND LIFESTYLE!, The Lentil Institution and Kittens Gone Lentil.
Shop 10, 166-168 Leura Mall, Leura
0432 963 663
breakfast, lunch, drinks, specials
Accessibility: There's both a staircase and a lift available to access this first-floor cafe. Furniture is moderately spaced. We ordered at the table and paid at a high counter. Toilets are located on the ground floor of the arcade, gendered and include disability access.