SET UP & SITE:
A sunny Saturday morning was the perfect excuse for an expedition to Devonport, along with the prospect of trying out a new — to us — cafe. We found Vondel easily, on the township’s main road. Parking proved easy, on a side road. It is a pleasant space, with tables and chairs in blond wood and the tiled counter and bar area, teamed for a classy look. On one wall is a large, intriguing V sculpture.
SUSTENANCE & SWILL:
The first menu we were given was headed “weekday brunch”. This being a Saturday, I queried this and the waiter quickly amended the error — the menus hadn’t been swapped over for the weekend version. This offered a variety of breakfast-style fare, tacos, burgers, squid and extras. My brunch companion opted for the bubble and squeak (with spinach, poached eggs, vine tomatoes, citrus and sage hollandaise, $18) and a side of Ora king salmon ($6). Rather than go for tried-and-true mushrooms or eggs, I decided to try the “full vegan” of scrambled tofu, facon, vine tomatoes, tater tots, kalettes and sourdough ($18). Vondel has a couple of vegan options on the menu, along with gluten-free, so are aware of dietary needs. While we waited, we shared a pain au chocolat from the counter (Vondel had just a few pastries and a cake on the counter, so not a place for cabinet-fare fans), which teamed well with the Supreme coffee. The meals arrived, well presented on stoneware plates. The bubble and squeak concoction was tasty, with the hollandaise adding a good tang to the well-poached eggs. However, the salmon was overly fishy and remained on the plate. The waiter was apologetic about this, taking the salmon off the final bill. I had been curious to try the “facon” but to my taste buds it was definitely no match for the real deal. The rest of the meal was fine — the tofu going well with the tomatoes and the kalettes — which I discovered are a cross between kale and brussels sprouts. Definitely a vegetable to seek out at the grocery store.
SERVICE & OTHER STUFF:
The service was top-notch, the waiter attentive and efficient. After the menu mix-up it was unfortunate that the salmon was sub-par, making for a lower score for an otherwise pleasant cafe.