Sunday, November 6, 2016

DINING | It's not just crepes at Crepe Amélie

halfwhiteboy crepé amelie 01
No, this ain't pizza.

It's been a few months now since this new restaurant opened near our office. So far I've paid them a few visits already and I guess it's high time to write about Crepe Amélie.

Design and ambiance
Crepes are widely believed to have originated from France, and it comes as no surprise that Crepe Amélie wants to go after some Parisian cafe vibe. The place is warmly it, with bare concrete, red bricks, baldosa, and wood making up its interiors.

The restaurant is air-conditioned but there's an outdoor section as well. Seating options vary from your typical dining tables and chairs to coffee tables with plush armchairs and a couch. Walls are adorned with shelves that hold all sorts of knickknacks that lend the space a homey feel.

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The restaurant's exterior. That's the outdoor dining section right there.

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I like the play of bricks and bare concrete here.

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Though they have real windows, they also have faux ones for aesthetic purposes.

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From yet another angle.

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Great mix of wood and tiles for flooring.

The food and service
Just like Starbucks and any other coffee shop chain, you line up, order, and pay as you enter. The only difference is that they serve your food to your table instead of buzzing or calling you to pick them up at the bar. Works just fine, and service doesn't take too long--except during lunch when they're swamped and easily overwhelmed. [Update: Just on Monday, Nov. 7, I was surprised that we no longer had to queue and we instead ordered from our table just like any other restaurant. There's an added service charge now, as a result.]

Crepe Amélie is obviously a crepe place but they also offer more than just paper-thin pancakes. They have pasta, salad, sandwiches, as well as yogurt, omelettes and all-day breakfast. Beverages include coffee, milkshakes, and juices. Crepes come in both sweet and savory options, and they also have crepe cakes.

In all my visits the food was consistently good. They're not cheap but they're not overly expensive either, just at par with other creperies and similar restos in my opinion. Here's what I've tried so far:

BLT sandwich (Php 190)
The first thing I ever ordered here and I loved it! They're generous with the bacon, which were so damn crispy! And I always want my bacon crispy. The BLT is a classic sandwich but they've added their own spin to it by introducing maple syrup and alfalfa sprouts into the mix. First impressions last, they say.

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Crepe Amélie's version of the classic BLT sandwich.

Butter and sugar crepe (Php 100)
Yes, I enjoy butter and sugar crepes a lot. Because it's in its most basic form possible--and without all those distractions from all sorts of fillings and toppings--here you can actually taste if the crepe is any good, and Crepe Amélie did not disappoint. The crepe itself had a nice flavor to it; not bland at all.

Tuna primavera (Php 230)
Rich and flavorful, veggie lovers will delight in this dish because they don't scrimp on the greens. You'll even forget there's tuna in it.

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Tuna primavera. With lots of veggies.

Spaghetti bolognese (Php 220)
Another classic, the cafe does this dish good enough. To die for, no, but still good.

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Spaghetti bolognese.

Chicken carbonara (Php 240)
They've added stir-fried chicken bits to that familiar rich and creamy pasta dish. Yummy but not outstanding in my opinion.

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How about chicken with your carbonara?

Shrimp aglio olio (Php 250)
This one's my personal favorite. Shrimp aside, the sauce is a savory mix of oil, garlic, and olives, and packs just the right amount of heat. I usually prefer pepper to chili but in this case the chili was a delightful addition.

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The shrimp aglio olio sure packs a lot of flavor.

Shrimp mornay (Php 260)
It's the first photo in this post. The shrimp mornay is a savory crepe with cheese sauce, asparagus, and of course, shrimp. It's good.

Dutch apple caramel (Php 250)
One of them dessert crepes with stewed apples, cinnamon, and ice cream. Delicious! Plus they don't scrimp on the apples.

Mango samurai (Php 260)
Another dessert crepe, the mango samurai is, as expected, a runaway winner. But of course no amount of pastry creme and what-have-you can save this creation if the mangoes are sour, so it can be a little tricky sometimes. Good thing they were sweet when I had this crepe.

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Mango samurai.

Mango chocolate (Php 250)
Personally I don't see the difference between this one and the mango samurai, except the chocolate syrup on this one and the dulce de leche syrup on the other.

Strawberries & cream (Php 310)
Okay, I was drawn to the supposed photo of this one, that's why I ordered it. To my disappointment, though, there were no strawberries outside the crepe; only teeny weeny bits sandwiched inside. Still good but a letdown, especially for the price.

Mangoes and cream crepe cake (Php 180/slice; Php 1,620 whole)
Because the layers of crepe were already flavorful, plus the mangoes used were really sweet, I had no regrets.

I've only tried two drinks here. My default order when I'm having something savory is their cucumber apple mint (Php 120). It's good, though I wish it came with cucumber strips to munch on. On the other hand, coffee (Php 100 for a long black) is a rather disappointing experience here, especially after all the good food. It's weak and simply lacks flavor. Find another supplier, quick!

You can check out Crepe Amélie's menu in the links below.
Crepe Amélie menu 1
Crepe Amélie menu 2
Crepe Amélie menu 3

In hindsight
I think the fact that I've been back to this place several times already is enough to say that it must be a pretty good experience each time (well, mostly). With a warm and homey feel, along with its consistently good food--crepe or otherwise--and its basic but no-fuss service, Crepe Amélie is one cafe worth your time. But I seriously hope they do something about their coffee. And their lunch service.

Crepe Amélie is located along Valero Street (just a few steps away from the intersection with V.A. Rufino Street) in Makati City. Open Mondays through Fridays from 8am to 11pm.

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