Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Best Crepes Ever at Breizh Cafe

As C boarded the homebound flight from CDG, I was looking for a casual place to eat solo and this creparie caught my attention. I remembered walking by a few Breizh Cafes while I was in Tokyo and didn't try, so I thought I might as well check it out when I am in Paris, especially realizing the cafe was actually only a short walk away from my AirBnB apartment. Little did I know they actually have more branches in Japan than they have in France these days.

Anyway, without making a reservation in advance, I decided to try my luck walking in when they opened at 11:30am. There's already a line when I arrived and as expected, they were already fully booked. But luckily, they told me the L'Epicerie store next door, where they sold some of the products from Brittany where the restaurant was originated, have a communal table with 8 seats that serves the same menu but does not require a reservation, so I went and took the last seat available. Phew!

There were 2 main sections in the menu - the savory Galettes, and the sweet Crepes, plus a few other small plate items. Seasonal specials were written on the little blackboard in both French and English so it's tourist friendly. Their drinks menu was interesting as well - with more than 60 different types of cider available. I went for the Galette Paysanne, which came with cheese, onions cooked in apple cider, slices of andouille sausages and topped with an egg cooked sunny side up, from the special menu.

It's hard to describe something so simple yet done so perfectly right. The galette - made with buckwheat flour and cooked paper-thin - has a nice crust just on the folded bit on top while the rest was soft. It's like a right backdrop to a great painting. The filling of andouille sausages - made with pork tripes and offals and served in thin slices - just made the whole thing even more interesting with the rustic, gamey flavors. And the overall presentation was beautiful.

With an extensive choice of ciders, I ordered a carafe of their house cider. I don't know whether it's because I was really thirsty under the heatwave or what, but I felt like that's the tastiest thing I have ever tried. The carafe is usually good for 2 people but I finished it by myself and wanting more.

Of course, I wasn't going to leave without trying their sweet crepes, and so I ordered a simple Crepe Yuzu Beurre-sucre. Again, it was a simple dish with nothing but a perfectly cooked crepe folder into quarter and served with a generous sprinkle of sugar and best of all, a dollop of Bordier yuzu butter. That was amazing. I wish I had room for more crepes or time for a return visit.

While I ate, I was also impressed with the cozy space at the L'Epicerie, showcasing some of the best products from Brittany which they used in the kitchen as well. They probably have the best collection of Bordier stuff - from all kinds of butters to yoghurts to caramels etc. And I had the most interesting conversations with a couple group of out-of-town customers sitting next to me, including this cute family of 4 from Australia. So sharing a communal table next door turned out to be great - it was entertaining. And as I left, I brought with me a few Bordier yoghurts - something that wasn't available back home - and that made perfect breakfast for the next couple of mornings. That and croissants from a boulangerie nearby were just the best morning combo one could ask for.

This was no doubt the best crepe (and galette) I have ever tried. Better by a long mile than something even close to being second. It's probably because of the best ingredient and the best cooking, and the fact that I am in Paris - I felt like everything just taste better. Must be the butter they used, I swear.

When? June 30 2015
Where? Breizh Cafe, 109 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris
Menu Highlights? Galette Paysanne - Sunny side up egg, Cheese, Onions cooked in apple cider, Andouille.
Drinks? Cider Francois Sehedic

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