Ruby is the newest venue from the team behind Operator25, Operator Diner and the newly opened Operator San, a trio of spots well regarded for quintessentially Melbourne brunch offerings with Japanese – or, in the case of Operator Diner, American – twists.

But Ruby isn’t just the first of the group’s venues to drop the Operator prefix, it’s also the group’s first restaurant.

“We’ve got the brunch, breakfast DNA,” Randy Dhamanhuri, who owns the venue with Valerie Fong, tells Broadsheet. “It’s a new challenge.”

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The breakfast menu, which is available until 11.30am on weekdays and all day on weekends, has the kinds of dishes you’d expect to find at the group’s other venues. Croque madame sits comfortably next to baked eggs and shokupan French toast.

But the lunch and dinner offering, available from 11.30 daily, is more reminiscent of the food found at the London and New York brasseries that the team says inspired Ruby.

The kitchen is led by chef James Cornwall, who has worked at Cumulus Inc and London’s J Sheekey seafood restaurant.

Cornwall, with chefs Leon Appelbee and Jaehong Park, has developed a menu that has classic brasserie food with, as Dhamanhuri puts it, “a little bit of edge”.

“You’ll get the menu, things will be familiar … but then there’re hidden flavours here and there,” he adds.

During lunch and dinner service, there are bistro staples like steak frites with bearnaise sauce, a hamburger served with pickles and fries, and a ricotta ravioli with beetroot and brown butter. For dessert, there are brown butter madeleines with whipped goat cheese and honey or a coupe filled with lemon sorbet and hibiscus jelly.

Ruby also offers up a different dish du jour every weekday. On Wednesdays it’s braised Wagyu shanks; on Fridays it has a flathead burger with tartare and fries.

When you enter the restaurant, you’re greeted by high ceilings, dark timber and touches of bright red finishes – a feature that Dhamanhuri says inspired the name. The team aims to add some respite from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding CBD streets.

Ruby Dining
1/189 Queen Street, Melbourne
03 9606 0664

Hours:
Sun to Tues 8am–3pm
Wed & Thur 8am–9pm
Fri & Sat 8am–10pm

@ruby.dining