I don’t know if I should share this fact with embarrassment or pride: I’m a regular visitor to Sheung Wan’s La Crêperie for a hearty lunch. I could eat the La Complète (ham, emmental cheese, sunny-side up egg and salad) crêpe all day long and it’s not uncommon to see me licking the plate clean after one of their sweet crêpes for dessert.
The French restaurant, known for their Breton crêpes, have recently opened their third branch in Causeway Bay, a cosy spot in the L square perfect for a quick lunch with a girlfriend, boyfriend or client.
The CWB branch is on the 8th floor of the L square, which means you’ve got to be in the know to find it. The restaurant is decked out in shades of blue and white, fitting with the nautical theme, and the stripes lend themselves to the region’s stripey flag. It’s warm, cosy and busy for a weekday lunch but not hectic.
I sat down and was greeted by Yann, one of the friendly co-owners of La Crêperie (and who recognised me as a regular from their Sheung Wan branch… #embarrassing!). This is their third branch in Hong Kong after the Wan Chai and Sheung Wan ones, so it’s safe to say the team have been doing something right with Yann and his partners at the helm.
My friend and I started with an apple cider ($45 off the a la carte menu or add $20 to your set lunch for a cup) each, served in a cup called a ‘bolee’, which looks like a small soup bowl. It’s the traditional way to drink apple cider in Brittany. The cider is from Val de Rance, a popular brewery in the area. One was sweet while the other was dry, and I have to say I much preferred the dry one with my lunch, as it meant I wasn’t reaching for a sip of water to cleanse my palette of the sweet taste in between bites. On the whole, both versions were light and fruity.
The meal ended with cups of coffee (this was a French lunch spot, after all!). The gingerbread latte and cappuccino put the watered down stuff from a popular coffee chain to shame.
One of the first questions I had was – why am I trekking all the way to Causeway Bay to indulge in La Crêperie instead of popping down the road from Sassy HQ to the Sheung Wan branch? It’s simple: there’s an exclusive menu just for their CWB patrons (as well as the popular favourites in their a la carte and set lunch menus of course).
We started with the Pan-fried foie gras ($98) off the CWB menu, which was served with caramelised apples and a salted caramel butter. The tartness of the apples paired well with the sweetness of the salted caramel and the richness of the foie gras.
The savoury crêpes at La Crêperie are made from buckwheat flour, great for those who are gluten-intolerant. The first savoury crêpe we tried was La Marin ($118), with pan-fried Hokkaido scallops, mixed shitake mushrooms and French button mushrooms with creamy white wine sauce. The problem with scallops sometimes is that they can be chewy and overcooked, but these melted in your mouth and had just enough bite in them that added to their texture. Mushrooms in a cream sauce are a classic and this lifted the dish without making it too heavy.
We also had the L’eckmuhl ($125 off the a la carte menu, or $138 as part of the set lunch), a crêpe with melted Reblechon cheese on potatoes, caramelised onions and shredded bacon. The Reblechon cheese is quite strong and nutty (and one Yann mentioned the French community enjoy and miss a lot from home) but delicious with the soft potatoes. The onions, having been sautéed off, were soft and the morsels of bacon added a hearty meaty flavour to the dish.
It wouldn’t be a visit to La Crêperie without a taste of one of their sweet crêpes, made from wheat flour. We tried the La Proue sweet crêpe ($58 off the a la carte menu, or $138 as part of the set lunch), which has a scoop of Mövenpick vanilla ice-cream and home-made salted butter caramel. This was truly divine. The salted butter caramel is Yann’s own recipe that he perfected years ago while working as a crêpier in Brittany. It’s drizzled liberally across many of their sweet crêpes, much to the satisfaction of customers!
The Causeway Bay branch of La Crêperie is certainly a vibrant spot for a lunch meeting with clients or colleagues alike, or even for a quick and reasonably-priced lunch with friends. The resto has a pleasant atmosphere with appetising, comfort French food to boot. A must-visit if you want to indulge in a truly delicious crêpe!
La Crêperie, 8/F, the L. square, 459-461 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2898 7123, www.lacreperie.com.cn