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Thursday, February 23, 2012

western/french: BUTTER CAFE & CREPERIE

No. 122-1, ZhongXiao E. Rd, Sec. 4, 2F
(02) 8772-3832

MRT: Zhongxiao/DunHua

website: Butter Cafe's FB page

hours: 11 AM - 10 PM

$-$$ (about $350/person)

Kid friendliness: roomy, lots of options on menu

Visit reviewed: 1/5/2012

I had high hopes for Butter Cafe & Creperie. I spotted the sign when riding a taxi near the Zhongxiao/Dunhua intersection and made a mental bookmark.

So imagine my surprise when the crepes are not really the main thing on the menu- there's pasta, risotto and way in the back of the menu, crepes. I suppose it's easier for a cafe to survive if it's diversified in its menu offerings, but somehow it makes the cafe seem like its catering more towards local customers, and maybe local tastes. No one during lunch around us seemed to be eating crepes until we were leaving, I spotted one table with a dessert crepe.

The space is fairly large and not too crowded. The entrance is not directly on Zhongxiao, but at an angle spotted easily from the main street. The upstairs takes to the Hi Sushi as well as Butter Cafe, like a fork in the road.

We order a few savory crepes and sweet crepes and one pasta to share in case it's not enough for the four of us. One slice of dry garlic bread comes for the solo pasta dish.

And then we wait. Hungry. At least half hour passes before anything else comes to our table and the lunch hour is counting down. One of my friends has to leave for another meeting and ends up having to leave before the dessert crepes come out.

Finally, we cheer when the first hot crepe comes and I have a mini flashback to the galettes from the now closed Mamm Goz. The La Complete crepe with ham, cheese, egg, mushroom (NT$220) ends up being my favorite for the savory choices, with lots of cheese and diced fillings (though the egg atop is a tad bit undercooked for me, so let them know if you like your egg more well done).

The bright bluish purple dressing on the salad is a sweet yogurt type dressing to the salad- kind of an alarming sight, but harmless.

Also note that the mushrooms are shiitake mushrooms and not regular white mushrooms.

Order the sweet potato fries if you like sweet potato fries, they are fried to a perfect crisp and addictive! The portion is small, but satisfying.

My friend's La Piano- smoked salmon, sour cream crepe with salad (NT$240) wasn't my thing, but that's probably because I'm not a fan of sour cream. The kitchen sends out one dish at a time, with gaps of time in between. Not a problem during a brunch, but a problem if you only have an hour for lunch.

The Seafood spaghetti in tomato basil sauce was decent and a good size.

The hard apple cider (NT$60) here is served chilled and in a champagne glass, not warm and in a mug as my friend expected.

The vegetarian Ar Men crepe with tomato sauce, sauteed mushrooms and cheese (NT$180).

The Banana, strawberry, nutella crepe  (NT$120) is an impressive sight, but at the first bite, I'm not in love. Why? The crepe is not hot... not even warm. I don't know if it's because they premake the crepe and assemble to order, or if they take a long time to decorate it and it cools? But it just doesn't give my tastebuds that same gooey nutella justice that I was hoping for. Those not picky about temperature could still be satisfied as an afternoon tea snack.

The stewed apple, salted butter caramel crepe with sesame ice cream (NT$140) is even more confusing. I appreciate that they might have tried to be creative by pairing sesame ice cream with apple, but the flavors work against each other instead of together. Why mess with the classics of apple, caramel and vanilla ice cream? This crepe is also cool to the touch.

Bittersweet flashback again to the yummier dessert crepes at Mamm Goz and the search for dessert crepes continues. I have another contender I'm going to try soon that should be promising! I'll keep you posted!


billy said...

i had a pretty good dessert crepe at Le Rouge at xinpu station exit 1.

Jaysun said...

Tell me about it. It is really hard to find an authentic, great crepe in Taipei. I appreciate your search for us all, hungry girl :)

StefanMuc said...

Pity about the crepes being cold, the pictures were mouthwatering.

joanh said...

billy- ah! still have to try Le Rouge!

jaysun- thanks for your comment! i've got some good potentials to try soon!

stefan- the savory crepes were good.. and maybe if you requested the dessert ones to be warm beforehand?

Unknown said...

Wow the food looks so yummy, especially the dessert! :)

V. said...

This post definitely makes me not only hungry but craving for some desserts!! Good one.

Taiwanxifu said...

I ate there a few months ago, and like you had high hopes but thought the overall experience was only so-so. The pasta dish I ordered was very oily, and I found it too rich to finish. I had a hot chocolate, which was not as hot as I expected but still okay. A nice venue, once I found it in the maze of buildings along Zhongxiao East Road, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go back again.

joanh said...

BONBON: thanks for commenting!

V 曉姊: haha, thanks! that means I did my job!

Taiwanxifu: yeah, it's too bad since it has the potential... i probably wouldn't go back as well

Anonymous said...

I love Le Bretagne in TianMu. Bacon, onion and cheese crepe is my favorite savory crepe, soft as it should be.

However, when I took my parents there over CNY, they were put off by the (to them) strong herbs in the crepe dough. But since the dessert crepes are plain, I suppose you could ask for your savory crepe plain.

Anonymous said...

it's open! :)

Anonymous said...

i don't think it's closed! just went there two weeks ago:)

joanh said...

anonymous: thanks for the comments! i changed the post so it doesn't say CLOSED anymore. it was the space next to it (and the sign!)