While it may seem fairly simple to pull off – and a rather close cousin of the ubiquitous Indian dosa – perfection is elusive when you are making a crêpe. Of French origin and widely found in the European nation’s erstwhile colonies and nations that support a substantial French population, this super thin pancake is a phenomenon that has caught up well in India, to be found in almost all innocuous eateries catering to tourists at major destinations. Pune, thankfully, has a burgeoning scene of its own when it comes to these wheat flour or buckwheat flour creations, ensconcing myriad, delicious fillings.
Over at French Crepêrie, authenticity is the keyword. While there is a particularly enjoyable variety available here, our vote definitely goes to the sea food savoury galette, stuffed with a rich and creamy concoction of stewed leeks and topped with sweet, seared scallops – a definite original.
Tiny, European and modern fine-dining bistro Le Plaisir Patisserie and Bistro has a unique breakthrough with its ham, chilli scrambled eggs and cheddar stuffed savoury crêpe, which blends the creamy, salty, slightly spicy, meaty and rich flavours of its main ingredients beautifully in the perfectly browned pancake.
The cosy little Minus 18 Degrees, known for its sweet offerings over a hot tea or coffee, dishes out a lovely selection of sweet crêpes as well, among which the coffee, caramel and dark chocolate crêpe with crushed biscotti is a study in aromatic, nutty flavours and textural play for your palate.
With its wonderful breakfast menu, besides the vast offerings in larger meal categories, The Flour Works brings out a bunch of tasty savoury crêpes, of which the broccoli and cheese option melds the healthy, power-packed green veggie with oodles of melting fromage in a classic combination.
At Pink Butter, we have to recommend one of each in savoury and sweet crêpes – the former brings you delicious, melting asparagus and mushrooms in a creamy and peppered cheese sauce, while the latter recommendation simply has to be the establishment’s special red velvet and cream cheese crêpe, which is a feast both for the eyes and the taste buds!
The quaint al fresco section of Dario’s forms the perfect foil for a sunshiny crêpe such as their lemon and sugar variation, which melds the bright flavours of citrus with a sweet top note – and there is plenty more where that came from (the French vanilla one is simply divine as well).
Krustys tends to keep its menu innovative, periodically playing with sumptuous and exotic ingredients, but one constant on the menu is the smoky mushroom, buttered onions and parmesan cream sauce crêpe, which brings these classic flavours together in a surprisingly innovative avatar.
Arthur’s Theme does its own take on the traditional crêpes suzette, as the golden-brown creation comes flambéed in a covering of orange liqueur and sugar, caramelising to a toothsome brown crisp atop the soft pancake.
Aufside @ Hotfut, meanwhile, whips up just one version of a savoury crêpe in its entrée menu – a stuffed and spicy, veggie-laden ratatouille, topped with a cheesy sauce and gratinated till delightfully fragrant.
The motto is pretty much the same over at The Flying Saucer Sky Bar, which also has just one crêpe entrée. This one is a ‘Spanish’ version, stuffed with sweet corn and topped with sun-dried tomatoes and a tangy orange sauce, melding a bunch of Mediterranean flavours together pleasingly.
Café 1730 gets pleasantly creative with its crêpes, bringing seafood back into the mix, with the sweet white flesh of crabmeat mixed with mascarpone cheese and garnished with chives for a mild bite.
The icing on the cake is the dry fruits and maple syrup crêpe at The Waffles Hut, which amalgamates the crunch and softness of rich nuts and raisins with the velvety sweetness of golden maple syrup.
Besides these, the ubiquitous banana, Nutella, strawberry and other classic ingredient options are more than omnipresent on city menus. Order a hot beverage and dig in – I know I will!