22 Feb 2013

A bit of France in Mumbai at Suzette – includes Signature Recipe!

Bonjour! This is a slightly long one since it’s packed with a review, a class and a recipe. Remember the Hot Chocolate post I did earlier this month? (Incidentally, it got featured in Los Angeles Times – Food!) I had written about Suzette, the French Creperie & Cafe in Mumbai, which does the best hot chocolate in town. And as promised, here is a more detailed post about one of my favourite cafes. Suzette has two outlets – in Nariman Point & Bandra. I have been to the Nariman Point branch several times. It’s small, yet cosy and the interiors are done up in warm tones. It also offers outdoor seating – limited to a couple of tables. The cafe has a small book corner, stacked with French books and magazines.





Suzette’s specialty is their crepe, which comes with a wide variety of fillings – both sweet and savoury. In fact, the cafe is named after the Queen of Crepes – the Crepe Suzette – a delicious creation with orange caramel flavoured with orange blossom water. You can get your sweet crepes with Nutella, melted Belgian chocolate, honey, fresh fruits, nuts, seasonal fruit compote...


Among the savoury crepes, my favourites are the Bleu (a flavourful combination of blue cheese, mozzarella, fresh cream and toasted walnuts) and the Campagne (with chicken bacon, goat cheese, honey and toasted walnuts). You can also make your own crepe by choosing your fillings – like this one – with asparagus, goat cheese, fig & pine nuts.
Another winner is their original creation – Croque Suzette – midway between a crepe and a sandwich. The Croque Feta, with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, creamed spinach & feta is delicious, especially if you choose to add some ham to it!

















The cafe also offers a wide range of salads, with the Ete, being one of the most popular – a refreshing mix of roquette, oranges, pomegranate, zucchini, seasonal fruits, toasted almonds, mint and parsley, dressed with a citrus vinaigrette. Truly, summer in a bowl!

In the drinks menu, apart from the Hot Chocolate and the equally excellent Cappuccino, I highly recommend the Cafe Viennois – an Americano, topped with whipped cream. The cafe also offers breakfast options and an economical lunch for one, with a crepe of the day, a mini salad and a choice of tea, espresso or cappuccino. Detailed menu here.

While compiling this post, I spoke to one of the co-owners of Suzette, Antonia and not only did she share all the photos you see here, but she also agreed to share their recipe for the Crepe Batter and for their signature dish Crepe Complete! So read on and learn how to master this centuries-old traditional French recipe. If you want to learn hands-on, Suzette is holding a crepe making class at their Nariman Point branch on Sunday Feb 24th at 5 p.m. Details here

And now, over to Antonia...
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Equipment
At Suzette, we use a professional crepe griddle to make our crepes. But unless you plan to do crepes every day, there’s no need to invest in such equipment; a simple non-stick pan will work well. Cast-iron crepe pans are also sold for domestic use (check Le Creuset for example).

Recipe of crepe batter
Our savoury crepes are made of organic buckwheat imported from France. This not being available in India, here is a neutral batter recipe, which can be eaten with sweet or savoury fillings.

Ingredients:

  • 250gm Refined wheat flour (Maida)
  • 2 Eggs
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 500ml Milk (not skimmed)
For sweet crepes, you can add 75g of caster sugar, as well as a few drops of vanilla sugar, orange blossom water or flavoured essence of your choice.

Method:

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs (and sugar if you are doing only sweet crepes).
  • Add the flour little by little while whisking vigorously to avoid lumps.
  • When the batter is getting thick, gradually add in some milk, stirring to combine.
  • Add the salt.
  • Whisk gently until smooth.
  • If you see lumps, strain the batter.
  • Let the batter rest for at least 1 hour.
Cooking method:
  • Heat your pan over medium high flame for about 2 minutes.
  • Lightly grease the pan with a cotton cloth or kitchen roll dipped in vegetable oil
  • Pour one ladle of batter (approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe) in the centre of the pan and tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  • Cook the crepe until the bottom is light brown (about 1 min).
  • Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side (about 30 sec)
  • Spread your fillings on the crepe and wait until the fillings are hot / melted
  • Fold, serve and eat immediately.
Crepe Complete

The French best-seller – Sunny-side up egg, Emmenthal cheese & Ham

Break the egg in the centre of your crepe as if making a sunny-side up egg in a pan (you can scramble the egg if you don't like the yolk runny), add grated emmenthal cheese and sliced cooked ham around the egg. Fold the edges of the crepe around the yolk to make a square. Wait for the cheese to be melted before serving. You can replace emmenthal with mozzarella and ham with chicken bacon. Bon appetit! 

10 comments:

  1. Ummm... Croque Suzette sounds pretty delicious! Great review, Prachi. Always value your opinion.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pratishtha! The Croque is really yummy! Do give it a try some time :)

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  2. Lovely post Prachi..My ham & cheese eggs will just get better with the crepe..

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  3. i was about to say that i have never been able to make the crepes look good on camera...well hanks for sharing these praci even if its by someone else...at least tells us it can be done :) and congrats on the LA mention

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  4. Hi,
    Great post.
    Where do u get orange blossom water in Bombay?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. For orange blossom water, you could try Nature's Basket or Foodhall. Also, check out out Gourmet Co. & Foodesto (both online).

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