DINING out with city views as the sun goes down is the real deal from a well-travelled chef and his international food van parked at Lions Lookout in Lesmurdie every weekend.
Nic Smeets experienced the flavours of the world with the ambition of opening a restaurant having previously completed an apprenticeship as a chef at a fine dining restaurant in Applecross.
What started out as a holiday became a two-year adventure travelling through countries in North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Southeast Asia.
Laos was among the countries to leave a lasting impression on the 24-year-old chef.
“The food is heavily influenced by the French in Laos because the country once occupied by France uses French techniques in cooking,” he said.
Smeets likes to recreate Asian sweet and sour dishes, along with spicy and sour dishes typical of those he experienced in Laos.
Unable to afford a restaurant on his return home, Smeets completed a small business course and did the next best thing; he bought a food van he named the Travelling Snack Restaurant.
About every six weeks, he changes the menu without removing his best-seller ‘Nic’s Burger’, a big hit with his regular customers and popular at the Kalamunda Night Markets.
The large beef burger comes with smoked cheese, mayonnaise and onion relish, finished with Nic’s beef jus – a secret recipe.
When the temperature cools, Smeets plans to recreate his favourite Asian-style fare featuring nourishing soups and other heart-warming meals to stave off the chill.
His van is at Lions Lookout in Welshpool Road every Friday, 3pm to 9.30pm, on Saturday 11am to 10pm and on Sunday 11am to 9pm.
Check out the livery on his van (pictured), a map of the world featuring postcards from his world trip and brought together by his sister Karina, an art student at Central Tafe.
Their parents, Harrie and Petra Smeets, own H&P Asparagus in Bickley, so expect to see asparagus on the menu (and currently in season), along with Smeets’ new line in freshly-made cakes and desserts.
To see the menu and check on Smeets’ whereabouts, visit www.travellingsnack.com.