Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In love with Crepes

I fell in love over crepes many lifetimes ago. I had a poulet au curry (chicken curry) served with a mango chutney and he had a bouef bourguignon followed by dessert crepe of nutella and bananas cooked in rum. It was at one of my favourite restaurants in Chicago called Le Creperie. It was really my first experience with this delightful dosa-like French everyday wholesome goodness. That was many years ago.

I did not think I would find a crepe place so good in Mumbai. My friend Ashraf raved about its hot chocolate and is almost at Suzette everyday (lucky bum lives practically next door). A site visit to Nariman Point led me to finally try the crepes at Suzette.  Its located right behind the NCPA. The tiny space was elegant, raw, minimal and earthy. The table mats were brown papers with a stylized line drawing of the Paris skyline (of course with the Eiffel Tower). Simple tall glasses and glass bottles to serve water added to the quaintness of this lovely little cafe. A bookshelf, a row with benches, a few tables with chairs and bar seating at the counter all gave the space the look of a typical Parisian cafe, warm and welcoming and a place you could spend hours at. A blackboard menu with all the daily specials handwritten. 

I chatted with the owners Antonia and Jereme about their restaurant. They told me about the hurdles of opening a French restaurant in Mumbai, learning Hindi to get their supplies from their vendors & most of all introducing the traditional Brittany crepes to Mumbaikars. Their menu though mostly crepes- sweet and savory, also has salads and an array of fresh fruit juices and smoothies (spelt as smoozies - as one would say in the French accent), teas, coffee and of course the hot chocolates. 
I ordered a salad of the day which was by far one of the best fresh salads I have ever had in Mumbai. Lettuce, beans, bacon and a balsamic vinaigrette which was in the perfect amount coating the salad making the lettuce leaves flavorful and not soggy (hate soggy salad).

Antonia recommended a lovely combination for the crepe- goat cheese, chicken, caramelized onions (OMG I love) and a drizzle of honey. Too sweet- nope it was just right. The saltiness of the chicken and goat cheese was the perfect balance with the onions and honey. The crepe itself was crispy and not stretchy like other crepes I have had. I really enjoyed its texture with the creamy goat cheese. 

And finally the hot chocolate- you would think thicker the better. Well take a sip and then think again. It was not thick, it was just right, flavorful from the depths of the dark chocolate ocean. One sip and I knew I will crave this every time I need a chocolate miracle.
On my second viist (oui I went back again), I met the third owner another French gentleman by the name of Pierre. He told me they use buckwheat flour which is traditional to the Brittany crepes. 
I could not quite get the recipe of the crepe batter out of him but I did find one here in case you are interested.
Crepe filling is like playing with flavours and textures- spinach, tomatoes and feta; goat cheese and apples; ham and egg; chicken and mushrooms in a white sauce. The possibilities are endless. Or check out Suzette's menu for more inspiration

Prep Time: 2 hours, 05 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Preparation: 

Whisk all the ingredients vigorously until the crepe batter is completely smooth; allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours before making into crepes. Melt a little butter in a crepe pan or large skillet over low-medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of batter to the pan and swirl until the bottom of the pan is covered with batter. 

Cook the crepe for 1 minute, or until the crepe is slightly moist on top and golden underneath. Loosen the edges of the crepe, slide the spatula under it, and then gently flip it upside down into the pan. Cook for 1 minute and transfer the cooked crepe to a plate to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.

 




My friend Mona sent me this video from when she lived in Germany. This crepe maker is making a banana, nutella cream crepe. It looks absolutely delicious. Danke Mona. 

7 comments:

  1. Wow what a fantastic post! Love the pictures and the write up! So cool that you got to chat with the owners and photograph the chef. Very neat!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum Yummy! Wish food bloggers in the city would review more places like this one. We readers are all looking for places to eat and for some extra toppings like what the food is actually like, a few background stories and good photographs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You do realize you are going to be on my "I Hate You" list for a loooooooong time, right?

    On a brighter note, one more reason for me to come over to Mumbai. Yay!

    ReplyDelete
  4. sooo cool!! not much of a cookin person more eating person...love ittt

    ReplyDelete
  5. Easy methods to involution in ultra inch Scream WOW Gold Golden cataclysm?leverage howler aureate This supplier pertaining to discipline determines that does not we all are older challengers, believing that other guy wire might be human, non products. And so, engagement inward chemical group will be really efficient, evening weakened-musical scale Arathi. Whats the Cheap WOW Gold reason that exist? Considering that while in the team you've got forever that you just romp, you possibly can significantly better in regard to playacting career World Of Warcraft Gilded. Battle in almost any team up is likewise better when it comes to role player’S equalisation improving and having Riot Au together.Warlock,Tera Atomic number 79 the best choice antic were being towards suppress ane aggroup proceeds RS Gold making use of veneration addition detriment along with confused rivals pulse Radius-2.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What does a veggie put instead of eggs? They claim, and I think very rightfully, that their veg crepes' batter is eggless...

    ReplyDelete