Coming up to their third Birthday and still as relevant as ever. Ruby Red Flamingo certainly has set its place on the Adelaide restaurant scene since first opening in September of 2012. And actually it was originally opened as a ‘pop up’ venue but has been so popular that it stuck around (thank god really)!
What was the posh, more stiff fine dining scene of The Manse in North Adelaide, the former manse (that is a “house provided for a minister of certain Christian Churches”), in all its Victorian heritage magnificence, we are talking high ceilings, fireplaces in almost every room and stunning cornices and architraves, was totally transformed when Ruby Red Flamingo moved in…
Entertaining graphics adorn the walls alongside the only form of a food menu – the chalkboards, the furniture is mismatched, as is all the crockery (much of which looks like something your granny once owned), they take no bookings which makes your dining adventure all the more exciting and the whole point of the menu is to share multiple dishes. Formal dining, nuh uh, we don’t think so!
Just because the notion of formal dining is basically thrown out the window at this place, that does not in any way shape or form, attest to the calibre of food served out of the kitchen. Having been to Ruby Red Flamingo multiple times over the years I can honestly say that I have never experienced a bad meal. Not even a ‘just ok’ meal. Their consistency in serving an absolutely, deliciously mind blowing meal actually leaves me in awe (and so full) and the night that I visited with a group of girlfriends was no different…
Having battled the fight for a table on a Friday night before, I have become a Ruby Red Flamingo pro. My tip – get there early! This place will be packed out by 6.30pm, no kidding. Now that hasn’t proved to be an issue for me in the past. If you arrive and there happens to be a wait for a table, you can always put your name on the waiting list, go upstairs to the bar and enjoy a little pre dinner tipple. That is of course, assuming you don’t mind waiting a little bit for a table, but can I make the point that the wait is always worth it. Always.
With a menu that has been created to share, this is the ultimate girl’s night destination! It is definitely also a great date night venue, but I always think that the more people you go with, the more food you can order and therefore taste/try. Six hungry girls who had polished off the complimentary bread and olive oil and had started on the Prosecco (and a glass of Moscato for myself) were more than ready to order when the waitress made her way over to our table.
As I mentioned above, the menu is set out on a series of blackboards and ranges from smaller entree type dishes, to larger main course size share plates, all the way through to pasta dishes and desserts.
We didn’t have to wait long before our first dish arrived to the table… Mouths watering, we got stuck into the most deliciously crumbed Arancini Risotto Balls, filled with calamari, mushrooms and peas, plus the Gnudi, perfectly soft little balls of ricotta and spinach heaven all in a delicious neapolitan sauce (vegetarians rejoice). A perfect start to an even better evening…
Following on from those little mouthwatering tasters, we delved into two of the most phenomenal pastas. The first, chicken, turkey and tomato wrapped around thick ribbon pasta in the form of the Mafalde Ragu and, what I am going to say is possibly the best pasta I have ever eaten in my life (so far), the Maccheroni Eggplant with smoked scamorza, dry ricotta, tomato and the tastiest damn eggplant you will ever try.
As if we needed anymore food (we didn’t but by golly we wanted it…) we were then served up the Spiedini, a medley of chargrilled calamari (the most tender you will ever eat) and prawns with capsicum and mushrooms, as well as the pistachio and pecorino crumbed lamb cutlets with cauliflower and potato bake.
Hint: A must have is the red and green salad. Sounds boring, but the salad is dressed in the yummiest of yum sauce and is the perfectly refreshing side to the rich and tasty meals you will be served. Just get it, trust me!
It must be noted that this place runs as smoothly as creamy Italian gelati. The food comes out fast and the gaps between each dish is perfectly timed. The kitchen staff and the waitstaff have the whole system down to a fine art.
The subtle hum of the Italian theme sits perfectly in the background as the modern vibe and just all out fun feel of this restaurant swallow you up. I invite you not to try and not go back again and again and again. Impossible.
Ruby Red Flamingo
142 Tynte St, North Adelaide