Tuesday, April 07, 2015

CLOSED french/crepes: i recommend LA CREPERIE

No. 45-2, Lane 187, Dunhua S. Road, Sec. 1
(02) 2775-3949
bummer closed 2016

MRT: ZhongXiao/DunHua

website: La Creperie Taipei's FB page

hours: 12PM - 11PM

$$ (about NT$250-500/person)

Kid friendliness: lots of savory and sweet crepes available, as well as pastas.

Visit reviewed: 9/19/2014, 10/26/2014, 1/15/2015

Eating crepes in Taipei has kind of been like Goldilocks trying to find the perfect bowl of porridge. The Taiwanese versions are "too crispy" and the Japanese versions are "too soft"-- finally La Creperie gets it "just right." And for a salted caramel lover like me, you will definitely have to save room for dessert.

Founded in 2007 in Shanghai, La Creperie serves Brittany style crepes and has branches in Hong Kong, Saigon and Phnom Penh.  Since it is a chain, the Taipei branch has a fairly glossy look, menu and presentation. It's tucked into a side alley near Zhongxiao Dunhua, so they were smart to add some signage and banners to the corner to wave you down. 

Inside is a bright, nautical theme with blues and yellows and cute lighthouse salt and pepper shakers. There are two floors of seating- the first floor faces the bar and kitchen and the second floor is roomier for larger groups and families. 

La Creperie's menu of salads, savory galettes, pastas and dessert crepes feature over 40 crepes to choose from. The menu is in English and Chinese, with clear sections for appetizers, pastas, classic crepes and dessert crepes. Vegetarian crepes are marked with a red "vegetarian", as well as house specials with their little red spiral logo. There are over 20 savory crepes with toppings like emmental cheese, ham, egg, spinach, mushrooms, ratatouille, creamy chicken and scallops, and over 20 dessert crepes.

During my last visit, at the corner table to my left, two women sipped their cups of tomato soup while conversing in rapid fire French, while the four tables to my left were a mix of English and Chinese. I realize that not only did I grab the last table on the first floor- a narrow strip of seats along La Creperie's long bar, but also every single customer that day was a woman.

I've tried several over the crepes over three or four visits. My favorites are the ratatouille, the creamy chicken and egg ham cheese. I liked the La Paimpont (NT$260) with chunks of chicken breast and mushrooms in a creamy mustard sauce, but it's a bit heavy so more suitable for sharing than eating a whole one by myself.

I also really liked the La Brestoise #43 (NT$260) which had a tomato, vegetable ratatouille atop a crepe with egg and cheese, as well as the La Bigoudene #41 (NT$250) which has emmental cheese, egg, ham, and choice of a veggie (spinach, mushroom or tomato).

If you like seafood, my dad and family liked the clam vongole pasta as well as the scallop crepe (with bacon!).


La Creperie sorts their dessert crepes into classic, simple, gourmet (with ice cream) and flambées. For the dessert crepe, my favorite is the Le Defi #55 (NT$240) pictured at top of the post. On my most recent visit, I was trying to do without the ice cream and got the Le Pecheur (NT$220) instead, asking for the chocolate sauce to be changed to caramel. It was good with the crunchy almond flakes, but I did regret not having the ice cream when I saw the whipped cream.

The downside of La Creperie is its slightly higher price points- if you are dining alone and want to order both a savory and a sweet crepe, then it will be about NT$400-500 per person (and a bit too much food). That being said, I think La Creperie serves up some of the best crepes in town and has been consistently good in my multiple visits there. 


Laopi said...

I've been there several times since its opening in June last year, and I have to say it's a legit option in town! Don't forget to get some cider as well for a complete experience!

I've discussed with the manager and one of the cooks (both French), and the manager did tell me the feedback from people was that each plate was too much food, which I found pretty weird because I think it's a very regular dose. Plus it can be easily shared if your stomach is too small ;)

When I cook crêpes at home, my favorite topping is simply sugar but the sauces and toppings you can find at La Crêperie are really good and like you I'm a big fan of salted caramel so this is usually what I end up getting when I go there!

My only regret is that they don't have andouille but this is because it cannot really be made locally and it cannot be imported either (there was supposed to be a new deal in April 2014 with France allowing certain types of French pork meat to be imported in Taiwan but I have yet to see French pork in here!).

Oh and as for the interior design, I found it funny because it's an exaggerated version of what you would get in France (including a Brittany playlist!), but I'm fine with that and I'm sure Taiwanese people love it ;)

joanh said...

@laopi- thanks for your thoughtful comment! i hope they don't make the portions smaller because I agree, the plates are great for sharing. I recently tried making crepes at home and found it easier than I thought, so I haven't been back to La Creperie for awhile. I've never been to France- hope to go someday! And I knew that the manager was French, I was not sure that one of the cooks was as well! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

That's too bad they closed. We're French and would have loved an authentic creperie in town. As Hungry Girl points out, there are a lot of ways crepes are prepared that are not in the Brittany style. Any authentic substitutes since?

joanh said...

anonymous: i actually really enjoy the crepes from gelato pique cafe at mituskoshi xinyi. they are takeaway but they use french butter and good chocolate. the crepes are soft yet crispy on the edges.