It’s sometimes difficult to get attached to a restaurant in Hong Kong, since, far too often, some of the best ones are taken from us far too young, usually due to devastatingly high rents that kill off any chance of longevity. When a restaurant has a solid concept, however (and one that isn’t based on the latest trend from the US that will quickly be replaced by the next trend), it is possible for it to stick around. La Crêperie in Wan Chai is now celebrating its seventh birthday, or, if you like, its ‘permanent residency’!
La Crêperie, which first opened in Shanghai 10 years ago and now has three outlets in Hong Kong, one in Vietnam, and another in Cambodia, has been attracting patrons with its traditional French cuisine, more specifically that of the region of Brittany, with an emphasis, as the name suggests, on crêpes!
The décor, which incorporates knick-knacks from Brittany, such as boat helms, sundials, and model sail boats, amidst the blue and white furnishings and sailor-esque waiters’ uniforms, has barely changed in its seven years, or at least in the four or so years since I’ve been going there. Although it overlooks the busy traffic of Queen’s Road East, it’s easy to feel relaxed and comfortable here, almost as if you’ve stepped inside a bustling, slightly crowded, truly French crêperie.
Despite the name, the menu isn’t just about crêpes. There is also quite an extensive list of starters, salads and bistro classics that whet the appetite before the main event. We began with some pan-fried scallops with crispy Parma ham. Served on a buckwheat galette with mixed salad, the scallops were utter perfection, having merely kissed the pan to remain perfectly bouncy inside, and topped with rich black truffle paste.
To follow, we tried the Steak Haché Polmard, which is similar to a steak tartare, yet seared on the outside to create perfectly contrasting textures. The patty, which is made using minced “vintage” beef from France’s famous butcher, Polmard, is topped with La Crêperie’s “secret sauce” and a fried quail egg. At once effortlessly simple and decadently comforting, this dish was heavenly, particularly with the accompanying homemade French fries, which were drizzled in more of that secret sauce…
The recipe for savoury crêpes differs from region to region. La Crêperie follows a traditionally Breton galette recipe that uses solely buckwheat flour, making them completely gluten-free. We tried La Super Complète. Whilst the traditional “Complète” consists of simply ham, egg and cheese, this one contains three types of cheese – emmental, camembert and blue cheese – making for a cheese lover’s dream.
You can’t go to a crêperie and not have a sweet crêpe – so we had two! As the name implies, the Sexy Suzette is a jazzed up version of a classic Crêpe Suzette, here made with homemade lemon cream, mango sorbet and, of course, flambéed with Cointreau.
My favourite dessert, however, has to be Le Défi, which consists of caramel ice cream, caramelised banana and salted butter caramel, in case you need a good dose of caramel in your life!
All of this was washed back with a couple of cups (or bowls, really) of Brittany’s famous artisanal cider, because it would be rude to have a crêpe without cider!
Prices are pretty reasonable, with all galettes priced between $100 and $150 (less for sweet crêpes), and no service charge. The staff are friendly and welcoming, and some of them have even been there since the beginning. There is little wonder that La Crêperie has been around for so many years, and here’s to many more – Joyeux Anniversaire!
1/F Kui Chi Mansion
100-102 Queen’s Road East
(Other locations in Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay)
Tel: +852 2529 9280