Saturday, September 10, 2011

"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."

Vans Sidewalk Café
1 Napoleon Street, Cottesloe
(08) 9384 0696

I like to think I'm a happy person.
Sometimes people ask me why I'm so bubbly all the time. 

My theory is it's because I never, ever skip breakfast :) 

I don't understand how people can skip the most important meal of the day. If I don't have breakfast, I'm Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, and if there was a dwarf called Bitchy, I'd be her too. If I don't start my day with a full belly, I feel like all my clothes are on backwards and I just want to punch someone in the nose... okay, so I'm exaggerating about the clothes being on backwards bit.

But seriously. I get violent.

On a sunny afternoon in Cottesloe, me and Michèl decided to take full advantage of Van's all-day-breakfast menu. It wasn't as packed as I thought it would be which was great, and the vibe was relaxed yet sophisticated, as always. There's always a lot going on - the waitstaff work quickly and efficiently, they dart around the floor balancing towers of plates, delivering flat whites, getting people seated. But unlike other busy places, you don't feel hustled. Perhaps it's the high ceilings, open-plan interior and abundant lighting that makes you feel so restful, but I think it also has to do with the consistently good and fast service you get that makes you feel at ease.

I have a new rule with ordering breakfast now: if you're having a savoury meal, have a sweet beverage; and if you're having something sweet like pancakes, order a coffee. So after placing an order for a savoury monster, I opted for a soy Blueberry Smoothie ($6.5). There's nothing I didn't like about it. It was this incredible purpley colour which could only mean bulk fresh fruit, you could tell the yoghurt in it was definitely good quality stuff, and even though it was luscious and thick it was still so refreshing. Roughly ten times better than a Gym Junkie at Boost.

Ladies and gents, I present to you Van's Breakfast Bruchetta - chargrilled sourdough, baked leg ham, slow roasted tomato, spinach, feta & soft poached egg ($20). I was so happy about this dish that I showed a photo of this thing to anyone who cared for the rest of the day (or didn't care, and were too nice to say so. This was probably most people actually, but I enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm all the same).

I don't even know where to start with this dish - the deliciously gooey free-range egg on top? The salty and sweet folds of leg ham in the middle? Or the smoky sourdough on the bottom? I think the best thing about this dish was that all the ingredients tasted so good together, even though there were six or seven different things stacked on top of one another. The paper-thin proscuitto, feta and perfectly seasoned, wilted spinach elevated the dish from your average breakfast cafe fry-up to an indulgent treat. I owe everything to you Angela - I ordered the bruschetta because I remember you said you had it on your birthday last year. Omnomnom.

Michèl went for the Big Breakfast ($21) which was pretty self explanatory. It was massive: scrambled eggs, tomato, mushroom, crispy bacon and two slices of toast.

Boy gotta eat.

Before I started eating, I thought I might have room for some dessert afterwards. How very foolish I was. But I checked out the desserts at the counter anyway, and was delighted to find some gourmet baked treats (I'm definitely coming back for to get an Apple, Strawberry and Pistchio Muffin) and most importantly, some pretty yummy looking macaroons. I've been thinking of making a Perth Macaroon Directory on my blog, what do you guys think? :)

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