Ruby Red Flamingo ReviewNovember 1, 2012
Everyone’s talking about a new North Adelaide joint called Ruby Red Flamingo, and for a good reason.
When the Manse in North Adelaide closed its doors a few months ago I considered crying almost as much as when I got the bill after my first dining experience there. At the time $200 a head was a fair stack of cash. This week, I took a group of friends back to the former Manse address – which is now reopened under the name Ruby Red Flamingo, a ‘pop-up’ rustic Italian restaurant – and covered the entire dinner bill for less. Drinks included. While we didn’t eat a huge feast, we did manage to sample most of the menu which is simple, authentic and delicious.
With a no-booking policy unless you have a huge crowd, we arrived kind of early and were shown to the recently-opened upstairs bar. Way to make use of the former boudoir of this elegant mansion. A tiki style bar surrounded with vintage ornaments and prints which are sure to strike a chord if you had grandparents who had a love of gaudy abstract art in the 70’s, it could seem tacky if it wasn’t so spot-on-retro. The only thing missing was the smell of incense, but in its place was the delightful smell of Italy, floating out of the kitchen and up the stairs and tempting us while we sipped on cocktails and a carafe of flamingo spritz.
Back downstairs and seated at our table, Ruby Red still has the air of the opulence you used to feel when dining at the Manse and the staff, while perhaps a little more casual and relaxed, are absolutely brilliant. For a restaurant only opened a few weeks prior this no fuss and no attitude venue is already a well-oiled machine, and they have the food to back it up.
I was dining with an Italian. A pure bred, food-loving, no holds barred Italian. I actually heard the words, “Just like my nonna used to make,” which is a seal of approval if I ever heard one. We let our waiter choose the dishes for us which was no trouble at all and the food started landing less than 15 minutes later. The standout dishes for me were the pollo alla griglia – free range chicken with roast vegetables ($13.50 entree), and also the ragu, which is a very basic traditional meat and pasta dish ($19.50 main), but the table was divided because all of the dishes were fantastic. Paillard is a chargilled veal dish served with roast potatoes and spinach which was tender and succulent ($12.50 entree), and the eggplant pasta (recommended by my Italian guest) was also a surprisingly delicious dish ($21.50 main). I’d love to be able to complain about something, but I just can’t. Ruby Red Flamingo really is that good. Better, in fact.
Ruby Red Flamingo
142 Tynte St, North Adelaide
Wed – Fri 12pm – 2.30pm and 5.30pm – 10pm, Sat 5.30pm – 10pm