Despite the Eiffel Tower in the logo and a miniature version in the window, Crepe House Café isn’t French. “We are Greek; we grew up eating crepes,” owner Christina Varetimidis explains when I look perplexed.
It turns out that crepes are so popular in Greece, the number of crepe stands almost rivals the number of souvlaki stands. At these street-food venues, the standard crepe offering is folded and served in a paper cone.
At Crepe House Café their crepes are served on plates, but they are made in the Greek style from a Greek recipe. You'll also find plenty of Greek flavours in their wide range of fillings.
The cafe is set at the base of a low-rise modern apartment block that is part of a short suburban shopping strip in Earlwood.
It’s saved from the usual blandness with a quirky eye to decorating detail, running from clotheslines full of handwritten coffee cards; to taps pouring fake streams into red cups.
You'll find everything from hanging glass terrariums to a veritable battalion of bare Edison bulbs.
With four garlands of coffee cards indicating a solid trade, it’s not really surprising to find that Toby’s Estate beans are put to good effect in the black matt La Marzocco coffee machine. Across both a Cappuccino ($4) and its summery cousin that many Greeks favour, the Freddo Cappuccino ($6), the coffee is robust but balanced, making it easy to like. If you're new to freddo cappucinos, it's basically espresso topped with frothy milk, served cold over ice - just give it a good stir. Fresh Juice ($7/each) in orange, carrot and celery, and the sharper apple, lemon and mint, will also suit sunny weather. You might also appreciate the acidity once you get stuck into the crepes.
The Crepe House Café menu is extensive and rambling. It runs over two double pages, spills onto a separate waffle, pancake and Evia sweet yoghurt menu, and also includes colourful chalkboard specials on the back wall. Look to the Greek alphabet for breakfast items; the Greek gods for savoury crepes; and the goddesses for the sweet stuff.
With shredded chicken breast, feta, mushrooms, baby spinach and shallots, all lashed with “special sauce”, Atlas ($16) reminds me of chicken sandwiches served with high tea. The interior is layered and surprisingly substantial, though the sauce – maybe honey Dijon mayo. – is a bit sweet for me.
Omelette No.3 ($16) is a thin, flat and savoury omelette flavoured with oregano, and topped with sundried tomatoes, Kalamata olives and the chalky feta we prefer at home - Dodoni. You’ll like it if you hate the thick, gooey-centred, French-style omelettes that I usually go for.
The trident-wielding god of the sea, Poseidon ($19), has your smoked salmon needs covered. His namesake offering takes the popular, orange brekky fish somewhere different by perching it upon a crepe filled with haloumi, fresh avocado spread, baby spinach, shallots and tomato.
It’s fresh and likeable, though I was more a fan of Hermes ($15) myself. The god of war’s contribution is filled with turkey breast, bacon, tasty cheese, mushrooms and baby spinach, then slashed with an appropriately red sauce (a tomato-mayo. concoction).
While I was personally excited to find that Crepe House Café was more than just a dessert bar, you might want to come here for the sweets. Despite giving the newer pancakes and waffles a whirl, to my tastebuds this cafe does best when they stick to their original crepe mission; so it’s the island goddess Calypso ($14) that best curries my favour with Nutella, strawberries, coconut and biscuit crumbs.
Thin, Baklava Gelato Pancakes ($15) were fragrant but super-sweet against baklava gelato, drizzled honey, walnuts and fluffy pyramids of whipped cream.
The Hera Waffle ($16) is a thick, Belgian-style affair that’s lighter than most I've tried lately. Dressed with a simple combination of ricotta, fresh berries and maple syrup, Hera showed just why she’s considered the ideal woman in Greek mythology. Next time I’d like to try her namesake topping sandwiched inside a crepe.
Crepe House Cafe
202 William Street, Earlwood
Ph: (02) 8041 6024