Food Review: Suzette
Four hundred sq. ft. is not too large a space, but it is more than enough for three Mumbai-based French friends to bring a bit of France into a south Mumbai business district. Suzette, a new crêperie in Nariman Point, does not boast a sunny pavement terrace or serve cider, but it still manages to fuse the discrete charm of a café in Paris and the informal coziness of a crêperie in Brittany.
The crêperie is minimally furnished with wooden benches pushed against white walls and accessorised with colourful cushions. Other decorative elements include panels of framed French comics (thankfully no Chat Noir or Eiffel Tower pictures), a bookshelf lined with text books on French literature and philosophy and potted basil plants that are left to sun in the outdoor section that has a single table for two. To the right of the bookshelf is a bar table for two with a view of the show kitchen, where the chef, Karishma Dalal, who formerly worked at Taj Land’s End, flits between a hot griddle and plastic containers filled with diced and shredded meats and grated cheeses. The sound of French music and the constant hissing of the espresso machine fills the tiny room.
Suzette serves crêpes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. The menu has been compiled by owners Pierre, Antonia and Jeremie, who studied cooking in the world capital of crêpes, Brittany. With a nod to the crepe-making tradition of the region, the trio serves savoury crêpes made of imported buckwheat, with all manner of stuffings and sauces. The Provence, a crisp crêpe stuffed with olive tapenade, fresh tomatoes and sundried tomatoes and garnished with herbs de Provence amply satisfied the vegetarian on our table who has an unfortunate aversion to cheese. Unless you are allergic to cheese, it would be a travesty to not order the creamy savoury crêpes, such as the Pomme, which combines goat cheese, with apple compote, honey and gomasio (sesame salt). Since apples aren’t at their sweetest in the summer, the drizzle of organic honey (they get theirs from Under The Mango Tree) makes up for the sweetness that may be missing in the fruit. The Nord, a crêpe generously stuffed with smoked salmon, fresh cream and dill, and finished with lime, and the Complete, with ham, egg (sunny side up is best), emmental and tangy mustard are both filling and flavourful. A less successful cheese crepe is the Bleu. Made with a walnut, blue cheese and fresh cream filling, it was a tad dry for our liking.
Pierre’s recommendations tend to lean towards the sweet crêpes that are made of organic flour. He insisted on the caramel, praline and whipped cream crêpe listed among the dessert specials. The crêpe has a frilly edge and comes with a side of cold whipped cream that you should smear over the warm pancake oozing with sticky homemade caramel. The Nutelle, a staple of most crêperies, is perfectly adequate, but we’d recommend the honey, lemon and almond one, which was crunchy and soft with just the right amount of sweetness.
To cater to office goers in the vicinity, Suzette offers quick lunch and snack combos including a salad plus a juice; a crêpe, mini salad and tea; and a sweet crêpe and juice. What we love about Suzette is that the management is less concerned about a fast turnover of customers and more bothered about their patrons savouring their food. Consequently you can have a quick meal without feeling rushed. In Paris, Suzette wouldn’t stand out among the rows of cafes and crêperies that line the cobblestoned streets, but in Mumbai, it’s where you would head for a slice of that city.
A meal for two costs approximately Rs650. All reviews are conducted anonymously.Tags: Food review, Food reviews, restaurant review, restaurant reviews, Special Top Story, Suzette
Ground Floor, Atlanta Building
HoursMonday to Saturday, 9am to 11pm; Sunday closed