From Shanghai to Saigon, you may find world-class French cuisine and the most luxurious dining spots imaginable, but when you think of creative and authentic crêpes, you only need look to La Crêperie. New to make its way to Taipei, the quickly successful chain has already found roots in six other big cities throughout Asia. “Asia?” you may say, but don’t be fooled into thinking this place is anything but the best this side of Europe.
Ahoy! Welcome Aboard
I’ll get to the food in a minute, but you wanna know what attracts so many people to La Crêperie in the first place. With a charm unlike most restaurants in Taipei, La Crêperie is built around the theme of every thing Brittany (France, not Spears). FYI, Brittany is an ancient fortified region in Northern France known for its seafaring nature, lighthouses and ports, but especially for its delicious crêpes and galettes.
The restaurants draw heavily upon the theme with lots of little touches (little touches are the ones that matter) such as lighthouse salt & pepper shakers, sailor-uniform clad servers, barometers, porthole windows and more.
Better yet, unlike so many themed restaurants, La Crêperie has a very tasteful aesthetic. The first floor offers a nice bar and cozy seating. The second floor is even better with ample space, big custom-designed tables and comfortable benches, a large cushy booth and tons of light coming through the huge windows. But for me, what really took the stage is the outdoor balcony. Outdoor seating in a quiet spot snuggled in the East Area 東區 is more than I could ever ask for, sipping my ice-coffee and savoring a crêpe in the fresh air of a sunny summer morning.
Basically, La Crêperie has gone to the effort to create a place that not only has a consistent style throughout, it also has thought of every way to make your dining experience as pleasant as possible.
All Hands on Deck
La Crêperie actually has a nice range of options to choose from when it comes to food. We started off our meal with a bacon salad gallete and some unique galette rolls with little Brittany flags stuck in each one.
Galettes, for the uninitiated, are savory crêpes made from buckwheat and topped with rich sauces and delicious toppings. And they are hard to pull off. I’ve had my fair share of galettes in Taiwan and there are always two problems: The galette itself is too dry due to using the wrong mix and overcooking; the toppings are mediocre at best in terms of quality and richness.
La Crêperie has neither of those problems. The first galette we tried was La Marin (The Marine)*
*Side note, one more interesting thing about La Crêperie is that many of the dishes are named after Sailor positions, famous boats, Lighthouses, city names and more.
Anyway, back to the Marine. A savory galette topped with scallops, mushrooms and white wine sauce, this one is a best-seller across all 7 locations, and for good reason. The plump and juicy scallops melt in your mouth mixing with the rich mushroom sauce in a beautiful blending of umami flavors. The moist galette and the toppings go together perfectly and leave you feeling completely satisfied.
Next up was La Gabier (The Boatswain – another sailing position). This one….well, I’ll be honest. This one was a bit strange. Created for the Taiwan market, this galette is topped with asparagus, shrimp and Taiwan’s famous Aiwen mango (愛文), all three of which are some of my favorite foods. Just…not when put together apparently. It wasn’t bad by any means, and it’s a very popular choice for the local market. I was actually excited to dive in to the new creation, but when these ingredients are put together something strange occurs in my mouth and can’t help but feel that perhaps galettes are better left to strictly savory combos.
Although we were getting full at this point, we couldn’t leave without trying the sweet crêpes. And my stomach was more than happy to oblige. While other crêperies in Taipei tend to go aim solely for pretty crêpes that look good on instagram, La Crêperie is all about flavor (actually their crêpes look pretty too). Only the best will do and first up was La Defi:
Caramelized bananas surrounding caramel-chunk-caramel-ice cream, smothered in caramel syrup = Magnifique! You might think that is way too much caramel, but I can assure you that my taste buds were only crying out for more.
But too bad, because it was time to move on to the next two: a chocolate banana whipped cream masterpiece and the most unique of the bunch, a flambe crêpe smothered in liqueur and set on fire. Cool.
Granted, sweet crepes are somewhat easier to pull off as sugar is almost always tasty. However, La Crêperie differs in that all of the food is made fresh from scratch. The whipped cream, the liqueur: all handmade on the spot. And you can taste the difference.
The restaurant/cafe also has a number of delicious coffees and drinks, but the most attractive of them all was the authentic French cider. A sparkling alcoholic apple drink, the cider is actually the common beverage to have with crêpes in France. Some of the other restaurants in Taipei also offer similar drinks; however, the one we tried at La Crêperie was very dry, perfect for accompanying both savory or sweet crêpes.
So, I probably ate more than I would like to admit at La Crêperie. But when faced with so many authentic options it’s hard to put the fork down. While I’m no crêpe expert, I do know that no other crêperie I have tried in Taipei can compare to this place. Of course, you’ll be paying for that extra quality and attention to detail. Crêpes here run about 2x the price than at other places. However, if you are looking to have a real French crêpe experience, then there is no place better. Navigate your way to La Crêperie today. Bon Voyage!