Crepes are awesome for many reasons. You can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, they can be savoury (crêpes sales) or sweet (crêpes sucrées) and you can practically put anything on them. They are a specialty of Brittany, a region in the west of France, where the tools and techniques of crepe-making have been mastered over the ages. But where exactly can you taste traditional French crepes in Sydney? A visit to Four Frogs creperie in Circular Quay will have you seriously reconsider the way crêpes should be made, served and ultimately, taste.
The crêpe revolution in Sydney
Four Frogs crêperie is the story of four Frenchmen, aka the “Four Frogs”, who loved everything Sydney had to offer; wonderful people, a perfect climate and beautiful beaches. What could be missing from such an awesome mix? Authentic Bretagne Crepes.
According to Florian Guillemard, founding chef and owner, the places where someone could find traditional crepes in Sydney were limited. Having that in mind, in 2013, les quatre grenouilles decided to give back to the city they love so much something valued and tasty – the crêpe.
The art of crepe-making requires particular skills and tools, so the four crepe masters brought with them all the traditional techniques and recipes used by the skilled crêpiers of Bretagne.
In France we love crepes; they are served fresh and delicious along with a glass of cider and good company. And that’s exactly the reason we are passionate about replicating both the recipes and the experience offered by the authentic creperies in Bretagne.
Indeed, from the time you enter one of their four creperies in Sydney, everything is carefully catered to provide a unique, memorable and tasty experience.
The sweet crêpes
The menu is divided between a huge variety of sweet crepes and savoury galettes in two different sizes – La Simple and La Double, for the really hungry. The crepes served at Four Frogs are traditionally made but they are adapted to Australian tastes. This leaves a lot of room for experimentation. The frogs used their secret family recipe and combined it with Australian dishes; thus, a new “FrAussie” approach was implemented on all their menu items.
Most times, French start with a savoury galette only to move forward to a sweet crepe for the dessert. Being an unrepentant sweet tooth I decided to move directly to the dessert and take head on two sweet crepes. The crepes themselves were paper-thin; soft and chewy in the middle and crispy on the edges. For starters, I picked one of the most famous dishes; a crepe with white chocolate ice cream, grilled almond and salted caramel sauce. The sweetness of the caramel, the crunchiness of the smoked almonds and the softness of the ice cream scoop was pure wickedness.
However, if you don’t feel like being so adventurous, you can go for safer options and still be amazed; fresh strawberries with Nutella or dark Belgian chocolate is a combination that always lives up to expectations.
Created in Paris, in 1895, the famous Crepe Suzette is an all-time favourite among dessert lovers and food connoisseurs alike. But what makes it so special? Well, apart from being served literally on fire (flambé), the «explosive» combination of orange segments, candied orange zest, caramelised sugar and Grand Marnier, is simply divine. Naturally, this dynamite was my second choice for the night.
The crepes (yes, there were two, I got La Double) arrived rather quickly; the Grand Marnier was poured onto the crepes and they were set alight right in front of me. Not only the effect was entertaining but the aroma that filled the air was promising as well. As soon as all the alcohol has been burned off, it was high time to enjoy my meal. Crêpe Suzette fully met and exceeded my expectations – the nice alcoholic kick from the liqueur along with the smoked caramel was delicious. It was certainly the highlight of my visit to Four Frogs and I urge you to go for it!
Piece of advice: make sure to have your cameras ready; you really want to remember this one!
The savoury galettes
Apart from the sweet delicacies, Four Frogs is also particularly proud of its galettes, the savoury version of crepes. Made with Australian buckwheat flour, which is milled in-house to ensure maximum taste and nutrition, they are the perfect choice for all those craving a savoury bite.
“Swiss cheese, smoked salmon, walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes”, “chorizo, avocado, Swiss cheese and mushrooms” or “smoked duck, hoisin sauce, spring onions and cheese” – the options are anything but limited. Catching a glimpse on some as they were being served, I noticed that all of them looked like a four-sided package; thin, golden brown, beautifully soft and crispy. The next time I will certainly go along with the “proper French way” – savoury dishes first!
The key to success are the high-quality ingredients
Crepes and galettes are simple dishes; therefore, in order to make them tasty, it’s vital to use only the freshest produce. I have learnt that the savoury galettes are made from naturally gluten-free buckwheat flour that is milled in store. This, according to the authentic Bretagne recipe, is done to preserve the freshness of the dough and fully deliver its strong taste. Similarly, the salt that’s been used is handpicked from Guérande, a variety known as “fleur de sel” – the “caviar” of sea salts.
Free-range eggs, freshly whipped cream, pepe saya butter, rich homemade chocolate, milkshake syrup, salted caramel sauces, quality farmer’s milk, fresh vegetables and mushrooms, ripe fruits, slow-cooked meats and onions prepared with cider – everything is lovingly prepared in-house “à la minute”. What’s more, the frogs never forget to add their secret ingredient – whatever it is, it surely does the trick! Et voilà, that’s how the best crepes in Sydney are being prepared!
Cider and crepes – the perfect duo
French cider or cidre is a natural drink made from apples produced predominantly in Normandy and Brittany regions. Having cider with crepes is truly a French tradition and so in honour of that, Four Frogs offers a great variety of both French and Aussie ciders. They are served in the bolée (wide ceramic bowls) and they have the perfect balance of sweetness, acidity and bitterness.
Our deliciously warming mulled cider is made from Kerisac French cider, and a comforting combination of cinnamon, Grand Marnier, orange slices and lemon juice.
Combining the right cider with your crepe or galette adds up to the whole experience, therefore, make sure to seek advice from the staff.
The coffee – a unique and tasty blend
All coffee lovers out there will highly appreciate this one! Four Frogs works closely with a local micro-roaster and has developed a full-bodied, rich coffee with a lasting chocolate aftertaste that perfectly trails along with your crepe or galette selection.
The Verdict – best crepes in Sydney?
There’s nothing like a delicious crepe to fire up the day. Or end it. The technique of crepe-making has been perfected to a fine art in Bretagne and it’s difficult to find a better place to try them than Four Frogs. The service was charming and personal with French accents being heard both in the kitchen and on the floor and the «pyro-show» was one of a kind. Four Frogs delivers a slice of French culinary tradition right into the heart of Sydney. It’s an authentic home of crepes in Sydney, a traditional creperie serving très bonnes crêpes and galettes. Bonne appétit!
Price: A$ 30 p.p. drinks included
Service: Attentive and well-informed
Official Website: Four Frogs Creperie
Cuisine: French (Bretagne)
Good For: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Diets: Vegetarian, vegan & gluten-free options
Authentic French creperie; traditional crepes prepared in-house with fresh ingredients and personal service.
Please note that this post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way. Miles with Vibes claims no credit for any images posted on this article; they are copyright to their respectful owner, Four Frogs Creperie.