CREPERIE LA BRETAGNE 法蕾薄餅屋
hours: 11:30AM - 9PM
$$ (Cash only) (about NT$300/person)
Kid friendliness: no high chairs, lots of dessert crepes
Visit reviewed: 3/25/2012
Previous visit at Tienmu location: 10/22/2009
I was so excited to spot the familiar looking Creperie La Bretagne in the backalleys of Nanjing East Rd on the way to dinner that I vowed to try it out another day. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my past experience in the Tienmu shop or expectations.
The space is cute, like dining in someone's home and a tad more spacious than the Tienmu location, with an open kitchen that you can watch them from your seat or the front of the restaurant. I had made reservations, but was quite late, but luckily there was still a table left for us to snatch up. After browsing the menu, I realized everyone else was already waiting for their food, as there was only 2 people to serve and cook for about 30 people. I understand if you are understaffed for an unexpected crowd on a weekday, but this is Sunday brunchtime! Seriously?
Creperie La Bretagne's menu has Chinese and English, scattered with a few pictures of galettes (savory crepes made with buckwheat flour) and crepes (sweet dessert crepes made with wheat flour), and various sets.
My friend ordered one of the crepe and galette sets (NT$500) that included a soup and drink, but I'd say it's not necessary- the soup was a mystery cream soup. It was peppery, but had no salt so was still flavorless and was barely lukewarm. Was it pumpkin? Mushroom? Carrot? It really was hard to tell.
After half an hour of staring down the poor people in charge (who alternated being in the kitchen and serving all the tables that had gotten there before us)(and two other servers eventually stroll in and get to work), one galette arrives at our table of five. This is the French country style ham and egg galette my friend ordered.
I'm sure this happens to you too and maybe it's my fault for not being able to read the Chinese, but I wish that menus that have English would be complete in their descriptions. A dish like this ideally would say "ham and egg galette with salad and yogurt dressing" so that I would know to ask for the salad or the dressing on the side. Which I then ask the server if the other galettes have salads to please put the dressing on the side, especially since it's a sweet yogurty, mayo-like dressing that I dislike.
The vegetarian Mushroom with traditional french sauce galette (NT$220) is the best of the savory bunch, although it's all shiitake and oyster mushrooms rather than white mushrooms.
Guess what this galette I ordered was called?
It probably would have been better off named a veggie and bacon galette... but this was my "mushroom and bacon" galette (NT$250).
Totally not what I envisioned while waiting almost an hour for my food and not worth the price. Anyone who has eaten crepes outside of Taipei should know what I'm talking about. Unfortunately, I was pretty unhappy with all the galettes that day- although they were a good size, the pancake was slightly dry and the cheese tasted like the Taiwanese sliced white cheese that comes in a plastic wrap. Sad face.
I'm not a huge fan of snap peas and the flavors of all the galettes tasted similarly dry, so I didn't really finish this one. It just seems so much more Taiwanese than Bretagne.
Dessert crepes run from NT$60-200 and include flavors like banana nutella, black cherry & condensed milk, or cinnamon sugar.
Luckily the dessert crepes saved the meal. After waiting another 10 minutes or so, our desserts came out. The crepes were smaller than I'd hoped, but I was ready to finish up and pay the bill. Luckily I had enough cash on me as they don't take credit cards.
The cinnamon apple crepe with ice cream (NT$160) was slightly carmelized inside and out and my favorite dessert crepe.
I changed the strawberry and condensed milk crepe to strawberry and caramel (NT$130). I was surprised to see the strawberries unadorned sitting on top, but the design was cute.
I'd say this is an option for afternoon tea if you were in the area, but definitely stick to the sweets, unless you don't mind a Taiwanese galette. And avoid the weekends unless you want to wait a looong time for your food.
Tastewise, I thought Creperie Bretagne's dessert crepes were better than Butter and Joy's Creperie, but not as satisfying as crepes I've had in the US. Still looking for a crepe place in Taipei that matches the hearty fillings and flavors I had in Toronto and Berkeley and San Francisco and LA.