White wisteria, tastefully entwined in branches, hangs from Vans’ ceiling. The eatery’s entire front windows are thrust open for fresh air. Overhead fans are slowly turning.
Vans, a Cottesloe institution, has emerged fresh after a major makeover: Clean design lines with sensible social distancing.
Lucky patrons have snared outside tables, under black and white brollies. A woman cuddles her black poodle, a bowl of water at their feet. A Porsche is parking, a Tesla cruises past.
Vans is the class act you expect in the Western suburbs. While we skim over the two-page menu, my brunch buddy immediately orders a black coffee ($4.40). When did coffee became an appetiser or entrée? I like coffee at the end, not the beginning.
I’m a real juice man. The menu offers a choice of 10 fruits and vegetables so I request a mix with ginger added ($8.50).
Having missed breakfast and looking over the long menu, we are tempted by something solid to eat. Not yet 10am, it’s a bit early for chop chop iceberg salad: shaved Manchego, cherry tomatoes, avocado, pistachio dukkha, roast garlic and apple cider vinaigrette ($13 small, $18 large).
There’s a superfood salad for $25 which I gorged in a Vans visit about a year ago. It’s formidable and delicious: Add smoked salmon ($34) or poached chicken ($32) or haloumi ($32).
Barramundi is reasonably-priced at $22 or $32, subject to meal size. The burger at $26 is popular.
Vans’ clients come in waves, the first comprising local business people – with some big-name identities reading The Financial Review and other complimentary newspapers. They tuck into coffee and maybe Bircher muesli, ($13 or $15), son-in-law eggs, organic sourdough or fruit loaf (both $6.50).
Buster’s buddy decides on whole crushed avocado with basil, feta, tomato and lemon oil ($25) and I’m in the mood for scrambled free-range eggs with aged cheddar, chives and sourdough ($21).
I should mention, we hadn’t eaten for 14 hours. Just as well. These are sizeable serves. We gave them top points. Music played in the background but, thankfully, not the booming nuisance at so many eateries.
Buster’s buddy raised much to chew over, apart from the tucker; what, with all the worldly happenings. Time carried on, almost to lunchtime. Eventually, we eyed-off the cake and pastry cabinet – in the interests of readers, of course.
Among the smaller cakes, we pointed to the raspberry and white chocolate mini cheesecake and a lemon meringue tart (both $6.50). Tasty, sharp and perfect with our coffee.
Vans, 25 years in the making and family-owned for 16 years, does an all-day breakfast, takeaway coffee and food-at-home while sourcing seasonal and local produce.
Dishes are marked to indicate vegan or vegetarian, gluten-free, spice levels, nuts or traces. True to its word, Vans “reinvents bistro classics with a twist.”
Vans, 1 Napolean Street, Cottesloe.
Phone 9384 0696.
Open Monday-Sunday, 6.30am – 10pm