Since 2001, Vans has been a Cottesloe institution – a thriving, family owned bistro with a modern Australian and contemporary Asian persuasion.
Its menu is always changing, but stalwarts such as the breakfast hot potato cake or lunch’s punchy lemongrass spiced beef salad are always available. The Saturday-night winter special, the Chateaubriand for Two, has been available since day one.
Owner Kevin McCabe, a chef by trade, runs the back-of-house. His wife Kelli Stevens does the interior decorating (artwork rotates in the light-filled dining room, and hanging succulents drape throughout the enclosed courtyard out back). Their son Brian is the front-of-house manager.
His proudest contribution? Craft cocktails such as the cold-drip coffee Negroni (step aside,Espresso Martini) and the banana-and-smoked-maple Old Fashioned. Head chef Leigh Nash might as well be family himself – he’s been on the pans since the second year of operation.
To drown out the sound of passing trains is a soundtrack as eclectic as the menu: Marvin Gaye, Eryka Badu, Jack Johnson, and French reggae.