Utter Crepe

about Vinayak K Shah Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai

So much has changed in a decade. South Mumbai was once a daily commute; now it has fallen so far off my work and entertainment map that it took me seven months to visit the newest and best regarded of one of those things I'm very fond of; the very Gallic crepe.

I acquired a taste for crepes the proper way – cycling the streets of Paris. It was stoked to fever pitch at another city – San Francisco – where Ti Couz and Galette introduced me to the savoury alternative (alas, both have since closed doors). Mumbai had its crepe choices (a couple of chains too) but they were usually pedestrian so, when a few Frenchmen get together to open a creperie, tongues are bound to wag.

And here I finally was, on  Saturday afternoon, at Suzette.

 

The location is tiny, hidden away in the depths of Nariman Point, the entrance a black narrow staircase beside another one that unfortunately leads to a men's loo. Once you have negotiated these rites of passage (and possibly taken a leak in the process) you fill find yourself in a space that could have been lifted straight from the streets of Soho, Manhattan. Chic and beautiful people fill stylish minimalist decor in a tiny tiny space. To add to the stereotypes, one of the partners is a soundly French-accented Pierre, while another is an investment banker.

 

Suzette's crepes are good; plenty of choices on the menu both sweet and savoury. The chicken-n-olive galette was nice, the Belgian chocolate crepe especially so; coffee was great, Wi-Fi was free, the fresh orange juice unsweetened for the more dedicated types. It's only flaws seem to be that inconvenient closure on Sundays and the barstools at the counter that could do with better footrests.

Mumbai is filling up fast with cosy, warm and very international options.

10 comments:

  1. Utter crepe made me think otherwise...so you liked the place? heard goo reviews otherwise too

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  2. Why would anyone, and definitely any self-respecting desi, want to eat a crepe when perfectly fine dosais are abundantly available?

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  3. And what is this nonsense about chic and beautiful people? Attention to attire should end with ensuring that the person serving you the dosa is a lungi/dhoti-clad figure.

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  4. If anonymous actually got his or her head out of his or her nationalistic desi ass, he or she might discover that a crepe is not related to a dosa (except maybe for the very approximate shape) and is quite worth trying even in a world of abundant dosas served by lungi-clad figures.

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  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cr%C3%AApe
    Crêpes are made by pouring a thin liquid batter onto a hot frying pan or flat circular hot plate, often with a trace of butter on the pan's surface. The batter is spread evenly over the cooking surface of the pan or plate either by tilting the pan or by distributing the batter with an offset spatula.... A cooked crêpe is a very thin pancake.

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  6. Dishes with similar appearance, taste and preparation methods exist in other parts of the world as well. In India, a crêpe made of fermented rice batter is called a dosa, which often has savoury fillings. Another variety is called Patibola and is sweet in taste due to milk, jaggery or sugar. The injera of Ethiopian/Eritrean/Somali/Yemeni cuisine is often described as a thick crêpe. Also in Somalia, malawax is very similar to a crêpe. It is mostly eaten at breakfast.

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  7. People love patterns, and look for one even if there is none. Crepe is the name of a particular dish with a particular recipe - the fillings are the only things that vary. It is NOT the name for a generic class of preparations like (say) cake or pasta or kabab. What makes these generic classes are common core indredients, consumption pattern or techniques of preparation - look is often not a very important aggregator at all (think of how different some kinds of cakes look from others).

    Crepes have nothing in common with dosas - the batter is different, the ingredients are different (indeed, salt is the only common ingredient), the fillings are different, the texture is different, the accompaniments are different and no dosa will ever resemble a crepe in a blind tasting. Even the visual resemblance is quite distant - a crepe is a soft, floppy, circle folded while a dosa is usually a distinctively crisp, stiff oval or cone. I would put to you that a crepe is closer to a roomali - made of wheat, circular and thin in shape, folded into handkerchief-like triangles for serving.

    A pizza visually resembles an uttapam; quite strongly, in fact - more than a crepe resembles a dosa. Its hard to imagine however, that Dominoes in Chennai is feeling threatened by the local uttapam vendor or the local mammy who gets a pizza craving heading for Murugan's to satisfy it.

    Looks can be deceiving, and often useless to food as a common factor. As many people on both sides of the himalayas have learned the hard way - tofu is not paneer....

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  8. Wikipedia entry on crepe needs an update. With this one - "Pizza visually resembles an uttapam...". A gem. Imagine what it would have been without the "visually" qualifier. And whtf do you get your uttapams at?

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  9. The Bandra Suzette is a far cry from what you described, given their food is good but their service is terrible in Bandra- let me enlighten you:

    So, it was four of us girls and we had first called for a watermelon mint and peach & grape smozzies (season for peaches). The drinks came at the same time and the watermelon mint juice was brownish in colour and tasted watery and sour, as if it had gone bad. The peach and grape was extraordinarily sour and tasted of seeds and nothingness. We called the waiter and returned it- which apparently was an insult to the owners because two men walked out looking rather offended. They told us that they tasted the drink and they liked it- (Excuse me, I didn;t realize you were serving yourself and that you were the customers) There was a lot of back and forth basically a French ‘pompous’ man trying to teach us what smoothies/ juices taste like. Then the other friend of mine and me decided to try the Iced tea, one of the owners came out and said I’m not sure if you will like it but try a little bit in a glass first and decide, which was very nice of him. The second man came out again and told us that we would not like the Iced tea as it was very French and luxurious in the rudest possible tone- (Excuse me- did not know you owned our taste buds)
    After all of this, he still came back and was very condescending telling us that we shouldn’t be mad and that he is not making us pay for it. Firstly if you want to run a business in India, please do not insult Indians by telling us “its french and luxurious and you won’t like it, just because you fail to make a basic smoothie and watermelon juice” and secondly if you want to run a restaurant anywhere in the world-LEARN HOSPITALITY first!! Even thought this was a bad experience after so many good ones- I will not encourage people to go in here, simply because the owners do not know how to treat their customers. And if the owners are reading this, yes you guys are very racists and hopefully sooner then never you guys learn that you are in India, learn to treat US with respect. Antonia and her team need a lesson or two on hospitality!

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