I’ve written about Ruben’s Bakehouse and Refettorio many times before: their wonderful breads, their fantastic pizza, but a new addition to their repertoire – or even repertorio, as we’re talking Italian here – is their breakfast: La Colazione. I have to say that when Igor – the owner – told me about them starting to serve Italian breakfast, I thought it was a great move but not necessarily something I’d take up. I’m not a fan of cooked breakfast. The English in me doesn’t wake up in the morning … I’m a bowl of cereal, fruit, croissant and coffee person. I’ve upset Cornish B&B owners – always so proud of their Full English Breakfasts – by refusing them. So when I arrived at Ruben’s this morning with Jonathan, Lyndsey, Julie (Lyndsey’s mum) and Freddie (who is not quite old enough for cooked breakfast yet!), I had only a coffee and pastry in mind. Jonathan, however, took one look at Full Italian Breakfast (£7.95) – ‘Breakfast from our wood-fired oven – egg, Italian sausage, pancetta, giant beans in tomato sauce, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes on the vine, homemade ketchup and our bread’ – and there was no hesitation: that’s what he was going to have.
And as you can see it was an excellent choice. Even abroad, people offer ‘Full English Breakfast’, but I have to say that here in Twickenham, Igor and pizzaiolo Daniele, are serving up a full breakfast Italian style that surpasses many English ones. The sausages were meaty Italian ones; gorgeous baby tomatoes, and the giant beans with homemade tomato sauce is far far better than any beans that come in cans! Jonathan was so impressed that I’m sure breakfast at Ruben’s is going to become a regular weekend event.
I meanwhile was still looking at the pastries … but when Lyndsey said she and her mum would have Italian Scrambled Eggs (£4.95) – ‘scrambled eggs with ricotta cheese served with roast cherry tomatoes and bread’ my resistance weakened. Well, that did sound good.
It was very good! I really enjoyed them and loved the mild taste of ricotta in the eggs. There are some other exciting dishes on offer: Egg in the Hole (Duck egg cooked in a slice of our traditional sourdough bread topped with homemade pesto sauce, aubergine spread and giant beans in tomato sauce @ £5.95), Letcho (red pepper stew originally from Hungary, eaten as it is or with scrambled egg, served with a side of grated cheese and minted yogurt sauce @ £6.50). There are skewers of wood-fired Italian sausages or Tricolore Rarebits. For the sweeter tooth there’s granola, toast & jam, and a very exciting French Toast: Traditional French pain perdu made with our soft roll spread with Nutella or jam, dipped in egg, milk and maple syrup then pan fried, served with fresh fruit salad. As I was going to the till to order more coffee one of these passed me by and the kind man who’d ordered it let me take a photo.
Doesn’t that look good! But of course there are the pastries too if you want them with just coffee …
… and Ruben’s offers a range of coffees … And the pastries are irresistibly good: