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Monday, 20 April 2015

Creme de la it?!

My intention was to write and publish this in time for pancake day (or if we are to be proper: Shrove Tuesday), then I went to New Zealand and the humble glory of my crepe adventure in Covent Garden seemed to pale in comparison! I will will share my Kiwi experiences with you shortly, but today I find myself craving something I can't have: a novel feeling in a city that seemingly offers all variations of whatever foodstuff takes your fancy, however or whenever you might fancy it!

It was not too long ago, that I was taken to a crepe house in Cologne that aside from being filled to the rafters with folk apparently all in the know, it had a thriving atmosphere in a local neighbourhood of the city centre and [wait for it] produces possibly the most nauseatingly good savoury crepes I've ever had the pleasure of tasting! Oozing and stuffed full with whatever you could ever want, my favourite being Crepe Kerstin, bulging with bolognese, cheese, spinach, garlic & creme only €8.00, I had died and gone to crepe heaven! EngleBAET, you hold a special place in my gut and I will see you again this summer (July to be precise).

For those of us residing in London though, the quest is now on to find a comparable source of dinner crepe. I'm not talking about the street vendor who sells the traditional sweet sort designed to catch you on the, no, no...I'm talking about a sit-in restaurant where you can drink beer and stuff your face with both sweet and savoury crepes. If you can go to a cereal cafe or eat squirrel in this fair city, surely then, there should be a decent place to eat a crepe! I made a beeline for Creme de la Crepe, which has been based in Covent Garden Market since 2008 (who knew?!), evolved from food stalls in St Andrews (yes, that's Scotland!), Borough Market and Covent Garden Night Markets. It's in a really snazzy little spot, tucked in the arches at the bottom of the piazza, with a whitewashed brick interior, all very snug and large enough for perhaps 30 people seated indoors or 50 standing, at a push (don't quote me on that!). It's a fantastic example of the growth and success made possible by realising a passion and making a few savvy decisions to transform a dream into your life (or more accurately, your income!). Hats off to anyone who has the balls to do that...

I stopped in for lunch and had a Buffalo Bill (£6.25) because I can't turn down buffalo wings and ranch dressing. It was nice and I was left satisfied, but I must say, I was disappointed by two things: (1) the crepes all appeared to be pre-made, which I'm sure saves time in a busy lunch service (and the painful reality is that the public would complain more for a wait), but ultimately it makes the finished product taste a little less soft and fresh; and (2) where was all the meat?! Now, I love both spicy buffalo sauce and ranch dressing almost as much as I love cheese and plantain (they are the condiment equivalent!), but among all the wet stuff, I needed more meat to pad it out and fill me up - it was all rather flat, literally and figuratively. On a positive note though, the menu is amazing, the service was clean, friendly and efficient; the venue is novel and comfortable, it attracts prime passers by from a great location, and I would definitely recommend people give it a go. Unfortunately, it was always going to have a tough battle on its hands to beat my Cologne benchmark. The search continues...

Creme de la Crepe on Urbanspoon

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