Sunday, May 27, 2007

May 25, 2007: Black Ruby

25/10/2015: It appears that Black Ruby no longer trades here and has been replaced by Masons.

Between a couple of outings on Thursday evening and a large dollop of forgetfulness, Cindy and I woke up on Friday with nothing in the house for brekkie. I'm a firm believer in the whole 'most important meal of the day' spiel and we decided that we could afford to be a little late for work in order to make sure we had the sustenance we needed to get through the day.

We've been working through a few of the breakfast places around here, but have failed to really dive into the Rathdowne Village strip (with one slightly disappointing exception). Cindy had heard good things about Black Ruby and it was suitably close by so as not to delay our arrivals at our respective workplaces by too much. I resisted the giant sounding vegetarian big breakfast and settled for a couple of fried eggs on toast with a side of mushrooms. It came with a dollop of relish to liven things up and was a pretty satisfactory $10 brekkie without being particularly exciting. Cindy chose the creamy vanilla bean porridge with seasonal fruit and was a tad disappointed. Perhaps naively, we expected 'seasonal fruit' to mean more than a few chopped strawberries. Once she'd polished off the strawberries, there was still three-quarters of a bowl of slightly bland porridge to work through. Not great.

So, two trips to Rathdowne Village and two slightly disappointing breakfasts. I'm pinning my hopes for the entire strip on the Rathdowne Street Foodstore. We'll let you know how it works out.

Address: 344 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North
Ph: 9348 2777
Price: Breakfasts: $8-$15
Licensed and BYO


  1. Don't give up on Rathdowne Village yet - the Rathdowne Street Foodstore was excellent when E and I went there last year, and I have always enjoyed their baked goods - plus you have the pleasure of browsing in alice's bookstore after breakfast :-)

  2. Black Ruby is actually one of the places I had yet to try on the Carlton North strip. I wasn't particularly keen in the first place, and now I'm beginning to think that feeling is justified.
    However, I agree with johanna - Rathdowne Street Foodstore is still excellent. If that place doesn't redeem Rathdowne Village, nothing will!

  3. Excellent - Johanna, we won't skip the Rathdowne St Foodstore!

    Mel, I wouldn't recommend it for the porridge. :-P But they did have some breakfast crepes, french toast and the like that at least *sounded* good on the menu.

  4. Go back to black ruby and try the big veggie breakfast - it is a stand out. It's currently my favourite in the street for brekkie. I must admit I've gone off the foodstore but that's only because I compare it to what it once was. It pales in comparison now for me.

    I also suggest you nip into Geralds Bar one night for a drink (not sunday when it's shut). They can do some vegetarian nibbles (interesting beetroot things and other goodies) and have an amazing choice of drinks on offer. But shh don't tell anyone - this is a great neighbourhood experience, where you can be a local and have a chat to the friendly staff. It'll be unbearable if it catches on!

  5. AOF, we live within walking distance and I certainly haven't black-listed Black Ruby. I may well get myself back there when I'm in the mood for an all out cooked breakfast.

    Thanks for the tip on Geralds bar - I think we wandered past and skimmed the menu that morning.

  6. I've always found Black Ruby to be a little hit and miss. Quite nice coffee, awesome onion marmalade and the worst hollandaise I have ever tasted. It just seems there's one small detail in every visit that holds it back from being a really great place for brekky, just in my opinion. I still return in hope though...

  7. Thanks for contributing, Oz! I will probably also return in hope and skip the porridge. Will also make sure the hollandaise-loving Michael keeps your comment in mind. :-)