Thoughts on life after the PhD
The words “crepe” and “Tokyo” frequently conjure up images of yatai (food stalls) and grocery store counters, where you can get a variety of sweet and savory fillings wrapped in a (usually) bland, soft crepe for a few hundred yen. For something much more memorable, though, I’ve long headed to Au Temps Jadis in Shibuya, a little piece of Paris tucked away behind the fire station and the NHK broadcast building, where you can relax in a building that looks spirited out of a rural French village and eat hearty buckwheat crepes filled with fried egg, potatoes, spinach, and mushrooms while sipping a bowl-sized mug of hot chocolate or cappuccino. And of course they’ve got amazing dessert crepes–fruit, ice cream, Nutella (ah, Nutella).
Another popular spot is La Fee Delice, in Harajuku, with a slightly funkier atmosphere and more eclectic menu offerings (I think I remember them having borscht). But recently I’ve been completely won over by Le Bretagne, which has two branches–one in Aoyama and one in the delightful neighborhood of Kagurazaka. These are some seriously good crepes.
I think what sets Le Bretagne apart from Au Temps Jadis is the thin, crispy texture of the crepe–my Le Bretagne galette(cheese and green salad) was filling but light, while the Au Temps galettes tend to be on the heavy side. And I don’t know where Le Bretagne gets its cheese and greens, but damn, they were fresh.
Au Temps probably wins on atmosphere, but I prefer Le Bretagne’s location, and its interior is also spirited out of a French village (I’m speaking like I’ve actually been to France, which I haven’t, so I’m going purely on instinct and a lot of French films).
Le Bretagne was pretty empty when I went (granted, it was 5:00 on a weeknight), but I’ve heard that there’s usually a line out the door, especially for weekend brunch. It’s definitely worth it, though. Next time I might splurge and get some cidre or a salad nicoise with my little piece of buckwheat heaven.
writing•translation•scholarship on Japan (and a few other things)
tales of travel, research, and life
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