Vans is a café. It says so on the door. But its food and service are so superior, we think it is one of our finest restaurants too.
Chef Leigh Nash has been cranking out stunningly executed dishes for years at this Cottesloe local. He has a natural ability with Asian flavours but Vans is no one-trick pony. It plates up pasta dishes, steaks, smashed avo on toast and healthy composed salads to please the calorie averse demands of the Lulu Lemon-wearers of postcode 6011, who flock here in their droves.
For dinner, twice-cooked coconut pork hock with sweet fish sauce, green apple and peanuts is rich and clean and booming with flavour and sweet-sour-salty sauce. Team it with wok-fried Brussels sprouts charred and elevated with chilli and sticky Asian flavours (we think they’re the best sprouts in town). Breakfasts take on a life of their own.
Nursing a hangover? The Indonesian eggs are a brilliant fry-up of three eggs garnished with coriander, sambal, lap cheong (sweet Chinese pork sausage) and crisp shallots.
For the more health-conscious there is an entire menu devoted to vegetarian and vegan dishes and coconut and chia seed pudding with macerated strawberries, and the daily Superfood Salad. Vans wine list is compact but expertly conceived.
Their bloody Mary can be ordered as spicy as you like and – most important – their coffee is always good.