Soho Creperie (CLOSED)
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Unassuming and unpretentious, the Soho Crêperie appears slightly incongruous in this part of Soho, the rest of Dean Street being filled by smarter and swankier outfits. The lengthy menu, however, is not lacking in confidence.
The crepe section runs to scores of items, and some options, such as the Mexican, the Full English Breakfast or the chicken with peanut butter are eyebrow-raising diversions from the repertoire of a traditional creperie. Nor is the place’s strapline hindered by humility – it even claims to be the next Soho icon. This rather brash contention is followed up inside by the large faces of those earlier Soho icons, Karl Marx and Quentin Crisp, peering down at the crepe-consumers from wall-mounted canvases.
The chef tends to the four hot-plates in the front window, juggling the orders of the twenty or so seats inside. Plain white walls lead through to the simple seating area of paper serviettes, stainless steel salt and pepper shakers and steel-tube chairs.
The crepes, turned into galettes by swapping froment (wheat flour) for sarrasin (buckwheat flour) in the mix, were impressive specimens. Their marbled complexions were testament to their perfect cooking. The galette was strong enough to withstand the voluminous savoury filling and the crepe gallantly absorbed the sweet filling without disintegrating. Both of their edges had that satisfying brittleness too.
The problem came with some elements of the fillings. In the first, a traditional Breton mix of bacon, cheese, carrots and chives, there was no evidence of the promised goat’s cheese and the saltiness of the bacon verged on completely overpowering the other flavours. The substitute cheese was undistinguished. When the carrots and chives did make brief appearances, I only wished for more.
The crepe suzette had been very liberally filled with Grand Marnier, and its alcoholic flavour was overpowering – though it seems churlish to complain about the overuse of such an ingredient.
Like the crepe menu, the sundae and smoothie selection is long and the portions large – leaving here hungry would be a difficult task. The service was very polite, albeit slightly slow, though this seemed to be exacerbated by the large and rather time-pressed group in at the same time, stretching the capabilities of the single waitress.