Bianca: Murmurings of a good burger is a sure fire way to get my attention and having been opened for just 7 weeks now ‘Rupert & Ruby’ have certainly done that. Occupying the ICON PARK crowd funded venue, formerly inhabited by ‘Stanley Street Merchants’, touting itself with the tagline ‘Modern Australian meets traditional American’.
*And an apology for the photos.. a certain someone accidentally deleted them off his memory card, so we have some substitute iPhone photos.
Taking the general ‘footprint’ from its ‘sister’ counterpart in Bondi ‘Fat Ruperts’ – a collaboration between Aaron Pearce and executive chef Eli Challenger, they have managed to bring their laid back Bondi vibes to hipster central Darlinghurst with Challengers wife, Ruby, responsible for the design and fit-out.
Oozing effortless cool, inside its all exposed brickwork and dark wood tones, with eclectic pieces of furnishings as well the coolest light fittings I’ve seen in some time – cooking whisks. I’d try to pull it off in my place but I think it would just look weird.
Fat Ruperts is somewhat geared more towards a late night eatery/bar than a day café, clearly due to the hours of operation, whereas R&R caters to the early risers, offering the trifecta of breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
What is great is the diverse menu. From eggs in the morning, to burgers and fried chicken for lunch, then dimming the lights and classing it up a few notches with Beetroot Cured Salmon, Ruby’s Skirt Steak and BBQ Prawns in the evening. All items of course being interchangeable, burgers for dinner/steak for lunch etc. So a meal at R&R is truly whatever you want it to be.
For myself, I can’t go past a good burger so no surprises as to what Alex and I ate here.
To settle into our Friday lunch, we both ordered a beverage. I ordered for the both of us because sometimes that Kelis song plays just a little too loudly in my head… and then it totally backfired as I preferred his drink and he mine. So a switcheroo was on the cards. I finally ended up with the ‘Young Henry’s’ – Cloudy Apple Cider and Alex the ‘Bilpin Pear Cider’.
To graze before the main event we shared ‘Ruperts plate’ – charcuterie, cheese, preserves. $15. A really decent platter to accompany a bevvy or two, with thin slices of salami, pickles, buttered toast and two wedges of cheese. One blue and the other a manchego from Spain. Alex and I ordinarily can’t stomach blue cheese but this one was heavenly.
Now on to the main event – I take my burgers more seriously than most normal people should, so I am a very harsh critic. I can’t go past a regular beef burger so my choice was the ‘Big Poppa’ – Smoked Brisket burger, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion and special sauce. With a side of fries. $15. You do have the option of a double patty for an extra fiver but I don’t deal well with too much meat and it always tends to detract from the whole burger eating experience so I went with the classic. What a burger! Firstly the patty, seasoned extremely well, flavourful. You could REALLY pick up on the smoky aspect – it actually reminded me of a Hungry Jacks burger but a thousand times better. Also loved the addition of the parmesan over the fries, a treat was picking up a fry and coming across several that had clumped together, it’s the small things in life.
Alex opted for the ‘Notorious K.F.C’ – Fried Chicken mayo, lettuce, honey butter with a side of fries. $15. This was another occasion where we couldn’t agree on what we preferred more. I enjoyed the Chicken but loved the Big Poppa. Alex had the total opposite opinion. All in all both were winners, the chicken was crispy and cooked beautifully internally, there was a discernible sweet aspect that derived from the honey butter that worked very well against the savoury elements. It kept every bite interesting.
So we may not have agreed on our favourites but we did agree on Rupert and Ruby, one thing that really struck me was just how reasonable the prices were. $15 for a large burger and fries in inner city is a damn near steal. When you have Chur Burger a suburb over in Surry Hills charging the exact same price for a slightly smaller portion I know where I’d be heading. Service was friendly and unobtrusive, with a really laid back atmosphere. It would be a great place for casual drinks or a romantic dinner.
Rupert and Ruby end their four month tenancy in December so get in quick, you won’t regret it.
Side note- they take their beards very very seriously here and it’s a fairly welcome sight for the ladies!
(thanks for the photo Bob! http://www.jugernauts.com/ )
*For Food’s Sake were invited to Rupert and Ruby on behalf of 6DC LIFESTYLE PR, all opinions however are our own and independent. A big thank you to Natasha for organising our visit and special thanks to Aaron for looking after us.