Thursday, 12 July 2012

La Crêperie de Sophie, Cardiff

My eldest daughter loves crêpes. Therefore, on a lunchtime trip into Cardiff to buy sports gear for her forthcoming athletics competitions, we only had one food destination in mind: La Crêperie de Sophie in the High Street Arcade.

La Crêperie de Sophie opened in Cardiff just two weeks ago, but their name may be familiar to anyone who has visited outdoor events in Wales over the past four years.

Loïc Moinon was born and raised in Brittany (“the crêpe capital of the world”). He founded La Crêperie de Sophie in 2008; naming the company after his wife. Loïc and his hard-working team have been making authentic French crêpes at hundreds of festivals, shows, Farmers’ Markets, corporate events, private parties and weddings over the past four years. The Outside Catering Services will continue, but now the Llantwit Major-based company has its first permanent outlet.

Take-away will be an important part of the High Street Arcade business, but there’s also plenty of seating for eating in (which adds £1 to the bill). There are seven tables in the basement and one by the serving counter, but the place to be is at one of the tables outside in the historic arcade.

We went for Savoury Crêpes. I had Cocorico! (seasoned chicken breast, brie, cranberry sauce, rocket salad and balsamic dressing), while my daughter had L’Italienne (Parma ham, mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, pesto, rocket salad). There was a choice between spinach and rocket on the day. The crêpes were crispy and light, with pleasing arrangements of fresh ingredients. We also had two Americano coffees and our bill came to £14.90.

Quality is important to Loïc and he says it’s not something that will be compromised. Getting the right balance between quality and cost for his customers is a key challenge as the outlet becomes established. Lunch Deals (crêpe plus drink) currently start from £4.45.

There is nothing quite like the crêpes served at La Crêperie de Sophie elsewhere in Cardiff. They offer a real lunchtime alternative to the usual sandwiches, baguettes and wraps.

Other Savoury Crêpes on the menu include The Barn (free range egg, cheddar cheese, red onion and rocket salad) and L’Atlantic (smoked salmon, herby cream, red onions, rocket salad and balsamic dressing).

The Sweet Crêpes selection includes all the classics, alongside some of Loïc’s own inventions. The Brittany includes sliced banana, home-made Caramel Breton, crushed biscuits and “Chantilly” cream. Typical ingredients include chocolate, Nutella spread, fresh fruit, nuts, cream and liqueurs. Sophie’s – A Love Story combines Belgian chocolate (or Nutella or Caramel) with fresh strawberries, cream and flaked almonds.

La Crêperie de Sophie hopes to get a license to sell alcohol shortly, so you’ll be able to enjoy cider from Brittany with your crêpes.

Eating crêpes on plates at La Crêperie de Sophie is a different experience from eating them take-away at outdoor events. On a plate, they look a picture (particularly a seasonal fresh fruit one that arrived at an adjacent table). They are crisper and give more scope for ingredients and innovation.

A special Olympics-themed menu will run during the London 2012 Games this summer. We’ll be back to try some Sweet Crêpes, and see what Loïc has dreamed up on the sports theme. My daughter reckons there will be no problem running off excessive crêpe calories around the track!

La Crêperie de Sophie
16 High Street Arcade
Cardiff CF10 1BB

Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Sun 10am-4pm
Tel: 08454757508

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