Ménage à Trois Après-Midi

Ham and Cheese Platter

Ham and Cheese Platter

L'Alsaciene

L’Alsaciene

La Cebuana

La Cebuana

Savory crêpes called jian bing hot off dingy, sidewalk trike-carts were my staple grab-and-go in my year at Beijing. Unlike the French crêpe, it only has a savory version with fried egg, black sesame, green onions, cilantro and a spicy chilli sauce all folded around a cassava crisp. I’ll devote a post to this, soon.

Crêpes are nothing new to The Island with several European café’s offerring those on their dessert menu and franchise-chain operations popping up all over the metro. The iconic Mango Sushi Crêpe from EastWest Café was yesterday’s La Marea Warm Brownie Cup.

A six-foot, golden version of the Eiffel Tower caught my eye in front of a recessed façade along Juana Osmena. I was on my way to grab some Chinese with the PussyKat when we spotted what appeared to be the new French Embassy. I remembered my cousin, Migs, was waxing poetic about this new crêperie so we tapped the driver to a screeching halt. Alighting, we were accosted by some “Tita” exiting the boutique next door, asking if we were getting married and pushing his makeup services. Ah, Paris!

We stepped into La Crêperie Paris to the cacaphony of French tourists. They definitely had the ambience going on our visit. Assorted dark wooden chairs and tables contrasted against the bright white walls on which black-and-white Paisienne photos hung. Still a little over a week into their operations, the staff was expectedly lost on some questions on their menu items. A primer on their product and a staff taste test on their entire line is immediately due. Thankfully, the owners, Jamaica and Raphael, flitted to and from the kitchen to fill in the service gaps.

Having declared 2014 the Year of Cheese, selecting the Ham and Cheese Platter for a starter was easy. The challenge was in choosing three of the listed choices to complete the plate: Parma, Cooked or Honey Ham and Emmental, Raclette, Gruyere or Mozarella. Parma, Emmental and Gruyere completed our trinity. Ignorant about wines, I chose the red topping the list– Esprit De Serame Cabernet Sauvignon.

Parma ham, as it is a type of dry-cured pork, has the texture of a gelatinous chew and a dehydrated tartare. The now defunct Café Brescia, an old personal favorite, used to serve this in paper-thin strips wrapped around slices of mango, a tropical take on the traditional Italian antipasto with melon. La Crêperie served theirs in finger-food cuts with a brand that was delicately salted as opposed to most throat-scratching cures. That would be a perfect introduction to cured meats for the generally cooked-to-a-crisp Pinoy predisposition.

The Emmental’s savory but not very sharp taste melded well with the ham. Any cheese goes with most anything meat, I’d say. The Gruyère’s more assertive, earthly complex held back the eventual cloying effect of having had much meat. Raphael offered us toasted wheat bread slices and that covered our starch base. Sips of the wine between bites washed taste buds clean and ready for the next assault of goodness.

Also in the specials section were choices of a Galette and Crêpe. The L’Alsaciene galette or “in the style of Alsace,” a province in northeastern France with distinctly German heritage, had Sausage (there’s your German!), Emmental, Mozzarella and Onions. This preparation is noticebly darker from the use of buckwheat flour. This one had me at onions.

For the Crêpe we had the La Cebuana –Ripe Mangoes with Dark Chocolate Sauce. Nutella was listed as an alternative for Dark Chocolate but that wouldn’t make it Cebuana now, would it? The mangoes were Guadalupe by my best guess owing to its golden sweetness. The sauce had the native tablea taste but formed more solid string clumps instead of a saucy cling to the crêpe. Raphael admitted to it being a work in progress as he was just using salted butter to soften the mix and would try cocoa butter per recommendation. Milk, an easy softener, would have just diluted the good bitterness.

La Crêperie Paris is a great addition to the regiments of the French wave sweeping the city. Expect selfies with the Eiffel Tower trending next to those pink, light-up cherry trees. Vive le France!

La Crêperie Paris is located at Unit 1 Sonrisa Suites, Juana Osmeña St., Capitol 6000 Cebu City.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s