Tucked away on the ground floor of one of the many giant officious-looking buildings in Nariman Point, Mumbai’s business district, Suzette takes over space previously occupied by a coffee chain. French partners Pierre, Jérémie and Antonia, who prefer using their first names to distinguish their day job personas, spent three years working and living in Mumbai before deciding to start a crêperie. Having eaten out a lot, they figured this was a cuisine they could make a success of.
The trio had no experience in the food business except the standard student days’ summer waiter jobs. But inspired by memories of their grandmothers’ kitchens, and after a week-long course in Brittany, France, they decided to take the plunge with their own recipes.
Pierre insists they have not “Indianized” the menu, so there is no chicken tikka version of a French crêpe, but the menu has been designed for a “largely vegetarian” clientele. So the dough can be eggless and there are lots of salads, like Soleil, with its bitter roquette and a lingering aftertaste of tapenade and basil.
All-day eating: Suzette offers eggless crêpes for vegetarians. Shreya Patil Shinde/Mint
But Suzette gets it right where it matters—with the crêpes. They are made with buckwheat from Brittany, which is one of the main imported ingredients besides ham, cheese and French teas. The eclectic choice of combinations, with a generous mix of savoury and sweet crêpes (the latter usually made of organic flour), is as good as any, including the popular roadside stall of London’s Hampstead High Street.
My tasting of a variety of crêpes came over two visits, with the advantage of shared plates with friends. My favourite remains the Campagne (chicken bacon, goat cheese, honey, toasted walnuts, Rs 270), the Complete (egg, ham or chicken bacon, Emmental, Rs 230), and the vegetarian Pomme (goat cheese, apple compote, honey, gomasio, Rs 270).
The sweet selection, which brought squeals of “dosa” delight from a bunch of vacationing children, much to the relief of the lone accompanying harrowed adult, has some lovely combinations such as Nutella or melted chocolate, banana, grated coconut or apple compote, cinnamon and vanilla ice cream with toasted walnuts. Prices range from Rs 230-270 for the savoury crêpes and from Rs 100-150 for the sweet ones, with specials at Rs 200.
For the slightly more health-conscious, there is good news—the crêpes are neither too heavy nor overstuffed, dripping with butter.
The partners speak of expanding to other locations, out of the comfort of their Atlanta building space, and doing deliveries besides the normal takeaways they have now.
The ambience of Suzette, open 8.30am-10.30pm on all days except Sundays (they also serve crêpes for breakfast), is one of its most inviting features. The cozy little café with an open kitchen has seating for just 20-25 people, is child friendly, Wi-Fi enabled, with a bar counter (it does not serve liquor) and a newspaper corner (minus Le Figaro). You may well get served by its owners, their post-work formal jackets a contrast to the place’s casual visage. And if you get luckier, there may even be a political discourse from Jérémie to complete the Parisian feel in the middle of Mumbai.
For details, visit www.suzette.in or call 022-22880055.