Le Petit Francais Crêperie and Café
307 Toorak Road
Telephone: 03 9826 3830
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 10am-3pm, 6pm-10pm
I am a hugee Francophile.*
*(Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in there because apparently he too is an unashamed Francophile and also I really liked 500 Days of Summer).
And as a French lover in Melbourne (oh how I wish!), I maintain a respectful appreciation of all crêpes, great and small.
Or rather, thick and thin, as the title of this post suggests.
Therefore when I zipped down to South Yarra a few days ago to visit my sister at her very unfashionable job in this very fashionable district, she insisted on taking me to her favourite crêperie in the area, naturel-ly.
Quite unlike the tiny, cramped crêperies of the Melbourne CBD, Le Petit Francais is spacious, bright, airy and get this - provides ample seating.
And I had an agonizing time poring over their very tantalizing menu!
As I've admitted previously, my bird-like eating habits mean that it's not often that I can get both a main and a dessert without having to share at least one. No such problem here - damn.
Thus I present to you, Crêpe Contender No. 1: Skinny Crêpes!
Who wouldn't love a gift wrapped like this one? All the savoury crêpes arrive this way:
This is my sister's order, as the sauce stain reveals (I do apologise and hope that you consider bright orange aesthetically pleasing). The Orientale - Merguez (North African spicy lamb sausage - what a mouthful), mushrooms, tomato, egg, and gruyere cheese ($14.50).
She thoroughly enjoyed this one - the spiciness of the sausage was a robust break from the usual saus-pects. An interesting note about the crêpes with eggs - the yolks are kept intact but hidden in the centre, much like sunny-side-ups, so my OCD-esque sister primly and expertly ate round and around it until it was all that was left on her plate so she could enjoy it in its untainted perfection.
Not me - I dug straight into mine.
(It occurs to me that I should say clawed, rather than dug, given the tissue-thin crispness of the crêpe. In fact, now that I think about it, the texture and 'thick'ness of these thin crêpes are quite reminiscent of roti tissues!)
Anyway - this is mine, a plain jane sausage version called Paysanne, with sausage, mustard, mushrooms, egg, and gruyere cheese ($12.50). I honestly thought that I wouldn't finish this, because the way I eat my crêpes is to open up the 'parcel' and break off the crisp edges, which I then dip into the yolky-cheesy-melty goodness, eschewing stodgier bits of crêpe with cooled cheese melded to it. But when I picked up those rejected bits while waiting for my dessert crêpe to arrive, they actually tasted pretty good despite the textural transformation - I attribute this to the excellent quality of the Gruyere.
And my favourite part of every meal - dessert! A far-from-boring Nutella with added ice cream (how could you not?!) - $8.50.
Warm, light, sweet with a generous dollop of nutty chocolate and quality vanilla ice cream (note the ever-elusive vanilla bean flecks!). So addictive that although the initial plan was to share one, we ended up having one each! Judging is evil.
Would I come back? Oui, oui - good grub, good service! I will say however that it's quite a bit more expensive than the afore(and to-be)mentioned tiny city crêperies. Does the different atmosphere justify the wider profit margin? And will vanilla beans in vanilla ice cream ever become a permanant fixture? The exciting conclusion and more in my next post - where we delve into a very familiar CBD favourite with a very different demeanour!
Shellie's 'fiery' review here. I did not receive caramel lollies - the injustice!