When leaving a tedious meeting late afternoon, with a stomach that’s embarrassingly groaning at you for food, you become desperate to find anywhere half decent to partake in a civilised but relaxed ‘ladies who lunch’.
I was very much relieved when we quite literally stumbled across the little hidden gem that is Cafe Rubik. Tucked away from the main promenade, this ‘bijou’ basement cafe looks just as intimate and quirky on the outside as it is within.
The small but perfectly formed dining room wasn’t packed by any means and we were treated to the full attention of the waiter. Thankfully, we weren’t smothered with monotonous and aggravating questions, which I have gruellingly experienced in similar restaurants. I know I am being pernickety but this small detail enhanced the charm of both the staff and the atmosphere.
We spent ages perusing the menu, which was a plethora of mouth-watering options. We all endured the customary nightmare of being torn between two dishes, but having admired the chocolate deserts in the patisserie on the way in, as luxurious as they looked, my head ruled my heart and I stuck to a main dish.
I eventually chose Pasta-Pesto A la Genovese at a very reasonable £6.25 and a side order of the most delicious home-made garlic bread at £1.95. Other options on the menu looked just as inviting. My friends chose the Gourmet Burger at £7.95 and my runner-up option, the Tuscan style salami toasted sandwich at £6.95.
The service, along with the food, was excellent. My pasta looked amazing, fresh and full of flavour. They pride themselves on their rustic and vibrant food and this is certainly no word of a lie. The burgers sitting opposite me looked, what I can only describe as, immense. Each plate was beautifully presented, with the chef’s individual style. They aren’t trying to gain a Michelin star and they don’t need one to prove how gorgeous and homely their food is.
I knew each dish was good when I realised that a table of four, usually lively and giggly girls, fell to a contented silence when their food arrived. We each, very quickly and - now regrettably - fed ourselves to the point of bursting, but I certainly wasn’t going to be
beaten by my Everest.
This was too good to leave, to the point where I was close to asking for a ‘doggy-bag’ to take home.
Classing myself as a novice ‘foodie’, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to indulge in a cappuccino at a notable price of just £2.05. A lovely way to finish off a scrumptious meal, I couldn’t resist.
Putting the 90’s pop music aside, this is truly a Mediterranean hide-away. The head chef, Tamas, is extremely passionate and modest about his food and staff. Whether you’re popping in for coffee and cake with friends or for a three-course meal with family, you’re guaranteed a warm stay.
This is a great little haven in the centre of town. Perfect to fuel the fire for a day’s shopping, or to grab a bite to eat before the theatre in the evening. Cafe Rubik is certainly one of Cheltenham’s best-kept secrets, which, in our 21st century world of coffee chains, are hard to find.
Telephone: 01242 698 330