Ruby Red Flamingo is no doubt a renowned name when it comes to Italian food in Adelaide and it’s really not hard to see why. Everything from friendly service, to a diverse Italian menu and a delightful selection of spritz ensures customers are satisfied to the Nth degree.
This past Wednesday, we had the chance to experience a relaxing long lunch in the sun at Ruby Red for ourselves. The venue itself provides all the goods, whether you’re after a cosy table inside or a spot among the greenery outside. Being a warm summer’s day, we opted for the latter. The table was set out like your typical Italian restaurant, using brown paper as the table cloth for easy clean-up. The use of kitsch floral crockery was a nice, warming touch, making you feel as though you were seated down to eat at your grandma’s place.
Remembering the last time we ate at Ruby’s, we prepared ourselves (and our stomachs) for a serious feast. We even avoided eating breakfast to make the most out of this lunch! Our lovely waitress came to the table with the biggest smile, allowing us to pick a few favourites and customise the degustation. After choosing a few seafood options, we let our waitress fill in the blanks as we laid back in our chairs and basked in the sun, Tangelo Spritz in hand. For those not knowing what a Tangelo Spritz is: it’s basically made the same way an Aperol Spritz is with prosecco, soda, orange and Ruby’s touch, rosemary garnish. The only difference is the use of Tangelo – which is a rare type of grapefruit – and blood orange. These changes made the Spritz more sweet and sour rather than bitter.
Entrees came rolling out one by one, kicking off our indulgent lunch. Each of our entrees were particularly light and served in a similar manner: thinly sliced, colourful, salty and zesty. It was like eating a selection of antipasto meats but modified to suit a more unique and, perhaps, a more modern approach. We started with the Octopus Carpaccio dressed with garlic infused evo, lemon juice, diced tomato and parsley. The texture was soft and the use of olive oil made this dish particularly juicy. We loved the sharp lemon zest and use of parsley, making it perfect food for hot weather. It was a favourite of the whole day!
We also dived into the Manzo Tonnato which we’ve had before and loved, combining thinly sliced scotch filled with a flavoursome tuna mayonnaise. The texture of this dish was, again, very satisfying, offering a kind of gritty texture alongside a rich flavour to go down a treat. The Bresola was a finely sliced air dried beef dish with evo, lemon juice, pepper, rocket and shaved parmesan. It was another delicate presentation and the saltiness was a definitely highlight. These three starters were the ultimate refreshers – great for a light summer lunch – and were ideal dishes to lead into the heavier second and third courses.
In traditional Italian style, pasta was served before moving onto meat mains and we chose a seafood Spaghetti Granachio. This pasta dish paired sweet blue swimmer crab with a cherry tomato and chilli sauce, offering mild heat and a significantly rich flavour. The spaghetti itself was also cooked to al dente perfection.
We had two meat dishes for our next course: the Scaloppina and the Spiedini. The Scaloppina was pan fried veal with a thin layer of prosciutto on top, with sage, swiss brown mushrooms and semolina gnocci on the side. Having not read the menu properly before eating this dish, it actually took us ages to figure out what the gnocci was. We guessed roast potato upon first look, then guessed cheese on first bite, followed by being totally baffled and assuming it must of been polenta. Regardless, it offered a melt-in-your-mouth texture and the cheesy, buttery flavour went deliciously with the thin veal. Veal is a great meat for those not wanting to be totally stuffed to the brim as it is a lighter style, and the addition of prosciutto only added to the salty goodness of this dish.
The Spiedini was an aesthetically pleasing visual of colourful vegetables, radicchio, cos lettuce, chargrilled calamari and prawns. Coming served on a kebab, this dish was fun to eat and tied up our degustation experience at Ruby Red. To find out more or book a table at this North Adelaide gem, follow through to the official site: www.rubyredflamingo.com.