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July 8, 2016
Habits

Introducing La Lorientaise Crêperie

Making Croydon crêpe again.

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  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Julian Cebo

A small town in Brittany, France serves as the inspiration for Marie-Elise Sellin and Luke Jackson’s Croydon crêperie.

Remarks

La Lorientaise Crêperie is open Wednesday – Sunday 8am to 4:30pm. Find it at 15A Elizabeth Street, Croydon.

Lorient is Marie’s hometown, and it’s a place she describes as not too dissimilar from Adelaide.

“We picked our name because I’m from Lorient. You call the ladies Lorientaise,” she says.

“To me, Adelaide is Lorient but much bigger – plus the wineries. That’s how I see it, because our centre is not that big, it’s only 60,000 people, but I’ve got the coast [and] I’ve got the country there too.”

When CityMag enters the space, it’s as Marie and Luke raise the shutters of La Lorientaise Crêperie fully for the first time.

Light floods the mixed timber textures of the floorboards and custom-made furniture, right through to the newly installed four-plate crêperie bench at the back of the room.

With only a glass plate shielding the hotplates for modesty, the entire crêpe-making process is there to be seen and marvelled at.

L'Orientaise by Jc for CM-2928

The four-plate crêperie bench

Having studied crêpe making in Brittany, Marie returned to South Australia recently after travelling here in 2009, and she hopes a love of crêpes is another thing Adelaide and Lorient share.

“I think when [our customers] see the plate, and if they’ve had crêpes before already, I want to hear their “mmm” or big silence and they’re too busy eating,” Marie laughs.

“In Brittany, you will go to [a] restaurant, you will have two savoury one, and then one sweet for dessert.

“If you’ve had savoury crêpes before, what you’re going to try here will be completely different.”

The sweet dish CityMag is served features fried banana, vanilla ice cream and a chocolate sauce, and that alone is enough for us to believe the hype.

But even Marie admits not everyone can eat crêpes every day (though we’re certainly willing to try), so her menu also features croissants, baked and delivered from La Madeleine, but prepared in the Crêperie kitchen.

“If you’ve had savoury crêpes before, what you’re going to try here will be completely different.” – Marie-Elise Sellin

L'Orientaise by Jc for CM-2900

Though Marie and Luke aren’t Croydon locals, the Queen Street location was a deliberate decision made by Luke.

“I always had a vision of the crêperie being in an old character building, like an old corner store,” Luke says.

“And Croydon, this street’s always been great for small businesses, independent businesses to start out. People are very proud of this area and very proud of the businesses that have developed in this area.”

La Lorientaise sits almost directly across the road from the original Red Door Bakery and newly opened Croydon Social, and continues the trend of quality food in the area.

When we ask Marie what she will be recommending to crêpe newbies, she is understandably hard pressed to choose a favourite.

“I’m more of an apple person, so apple salted caramel, scoop of vanilla ice cream, ok? Whipped cream and roast almonds. But with savoury one, myself, I like cheese and mushroom,” she says.

“And if you are hungover, for example on a weekend, I will go for La Gourmand, which means The Greedy. So you’ve got bacon, sausage, egg, tomato, caramelised onions – everything.”

There’s a crêpe for all occasions, and a specially selected French cider to pair with it, should some European-themed day drinking be on your agenda.

“Every French person will have cider with the crêpes, yeah,” Marie says.

“The concept of having a crêperie without cider is… there’s no concept of that in France,” Luke laughs.

With or without an accompanying beverage, Marie’s crêpes, and La Lorientaise Crêperie, is a welcome addition to Adelaide’s growing French culinary scene.

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