VAT 2 has always been part of my Bunbury story. It was one of the first places we had a meal at, when we moved here. That was over ten years ago. Our kids used to play for hours in the little beach park, then go and have a paddle in the bay. Over the years, this restaurant has gone from strength to strength. In particular, their special occasions are notable. For the last three years, our circle of friends have enjoyed seeing in the new year here. I even won Black Sorrow tickets a few years ago for my "I want to break free"Freddy Mercury costume.
Last week, I had the pleasure of two visits. Wednesday was Bao Bun day, (how could I resist), and then we had an amazing Australia day BBQ on the beach. Reasons to be Cheerful at the VAT 2, parts one and two!
Bao Buns, I have had them at various establishments around the area, these were definitely a stand out. Wednesday is the day to try them. They offer $3.50 buns with a choice of fillings. I wonder if they thought I was greedy when |I asked for one of each? I just had to give each one a go.There were five fillings to drool over, everyone was a triumph! First up was Pork Belly, (that got my attention straight away), Just the right amount of healthy stuff stuffed in too in the form of scallions and pickled cucumber and then expertly brought together with a robust Hoisin sauce. The clever chef has also managed to maintain a crispy crackle on the pork. The buns were fluffy and not over dense, another testament to the skill of the chef. Next up was a veggy option. Miso roasted cauliflower, radish, and Japanese Mayo. This was Lisa's favourite. I also thoroughly enjoyed it. The Miso gloved cauliflower had a bit of crunch, and the Mayo, (Kewpie?) gave it a lovely silky feel in the mouth. Did someone say Duck? Next up was Szechuan Duck, scallions, cucumber and a plum sauce. When food takes you someplace else, you know it's good. This took me back to a Chinese Restaurant I visited in Sydney a few years ago. They done the best Crispy aromatic duck ever...This was on a par. The duck was melt in the mouth. The plum sauce was dark and sticky, it oozed down my fingers as I ate them, I had no shame when I licked it off! Last but not least was a Singapore Fried chicken with peanut soy. Again, I was taken to a a Hawkers market in Singapore. Delicious.
We left with full bellies and Bao Wednesday, I can safely say, will be a regular event for me. I was now quite excited about the Australia Day tickets we had reserved!
So Australia day. This year when I saw VAT 2 were providing an Aussie day BBQ on the beach, I was fairly excited. I mean come on, you really couldn't ask for a better location. We rocked up at around 5:15 and wondered if parking was going to be an issue, we Need not have worried, there were plenty of spaces. We were shown to out table on the beach...I felt like I was holiday. I kicked my sandals off and headed to the bar.
It was a really intimate setting. Once we had had a beer and the sun had dropped a little, we took our seats. The chefs were in full swing at the BBQ station. The aromas wafting over were enticing. A big plate of garlic bread was handed out, just to get the juices flowing. Entertainment was provided by the popular two piece Bunbury band Double Trouble playing a whole diverse range of songs. Some Aussie classics, and modern hits.. Very relaxing.
The tickets cost $50 and in my humble opinion this was a dead set bargain. Our food journey started with an Aussie day classic.. Good old Prawn Cocktail. Yeah I know, a blast from the past, but executed perfectly, and lets be honest, the 70's were a cool era.
The prawns were plump and juicy. The Mary Rose sauce was zesty and tangy. A great start to the festivities. The beer was flowing and the sun was starting to set.
Fairly soon after the entree, the BBQ was ready, and what a BBQ it was. Spicy chicken, lamb chops, juicy steaks, baked fish and some huge field mushrooms. There was no shortage that's for sure. It didn't end at the grill either. Bowls of salad were on offer too. No boring mix of lettuce and tomato here! An intriguing mix of quinoa, kale and beetroot led the salads along with a creamy potato salad, a crunchy coleslaw, and my personal favourite - feta and watermelon. This was next level.
Needless to say, more than one trip to the grill was required.
With full bellies, I didn't think I would have room for desert....Then they brought them out. Beautifully constructed pavlovas. They were pieces of art on the plate. The meringue was perfectly crunchy on the outside, gooey and silky in the middle and adorned like a crown with fruity gems like strawberries and kiwi fruit. Apple pies were also offered..I had both.
VAT 2 have really got it right with these sorts of events. Whether it's New years eve or Aussie day. They have got the perfect mix of good drink, amazing food, exceptional entertainment and outstanding value for money. I came away full up, entertained and not feeling that I had spent too much money. I think Aussie day at VAT 2 will now be a staple as New years 's eve is. We all stood on the sand at the end of the night and watched the fireworks. I don't know about everyone else, but it's times like this that I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world to live in this amazing part of the world.....And VAT 2, don't change a thing, you are nailing it!
Quick mention of the beers too, a great choice and something to suit every taste.
10 out of 10 for the service. Did not have to wait for anything. As soon as I had finished a drink, a member of staff was asking if I wanted another. I would be very proud to have such attentive staff working for me.