After Hours: Café-Creperie Le Bretagne in Tokyo, Japan
August 16, 2010
Brunch in Tokyo can bring unsatisfying results — portions too small, prices too big, and a lack of the breakfast trifecta: home fries, three-egg omelets and buttered toast.
So after many disappointments, most weekends I now jettison my American breakfast appetite in lieu of another country that has a lot to teach us about pancakes and eggs. Meet the crepe of Le Bretagne, France, brought to you by Café-Creperie.
The creperie, which also goes by Briezh Café at some of its five locations around Tokyo, serves buckwheat crepes made to order and stuffed with a mix of savory or sweet ingredients. The restaurant also specialized in its own label of alcoholic cider, seasonal and creamy vegetable soups, and a fast place to get breakfast all day long.
The savory crepes — called galettes — include what I think of as essential omelet ingredients: eggs and bacon, of course, with a mix of cheese, sausage and vegetables. Some are vegetarian, but nearly all include eggs served sunny side-up or scrambled.
Salads feature tuna and hard-boiled eggs. And the soups — cream of pumpkin, sweet pea, cauliflower — are served chilled in the summer and hot in the winter. The pumpkin is my favorite, and is almost a meal in itself.
Three ciders range from 2 percent to 5.5 percent in alcohol and are served in a chilled bowl. Refills (which are not free) are poured at the table. The creperie has a wine list and a small collection of cocktails, mostly champagne-based. For dessert, a smaller crepe comes with ice cream, fruit and chocolate, caramel or seasonal sauces.
The restaurants typically are packed at lunch time, especially on the weekends.
It’s best to call for a reservation or go a little earlier or later than meal time.
I suppose the good people of Le Bretagne might not necessarily think of crepes as breakfast food, and that’s a good thing.
It’s one of the few restaurants in Tokyo that serves meals all afternoon.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Directions: Akasaka Biz Tower, first floor, Tokyo. Take Chiyoda Line to Akasaka station. Follow exit signs for Akasaka Biz Tower. Restaurant is accessible from the outside patio. Also locations in Omote-sando, Kagurazaka, Ginza and Yokohama. (Hours may vary at different locations.)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
Prices: Most savory crepes priced at 1,150 yen, with most dessert crepes at around 1,000 each. Cider is 550 yen per bowl; glasses of wine start at 700 yen. Salads and soup range from 700 to 950 yen.
Specialties: Buckwheat crepes, served savory with combinations of eggs, meat, cheese and vegetables. Dessert crepes usually involve a scoop of ice cream and seasonal fruit or a variety of sweet sauces.
English menu: Yes
Dress: Casual to business attire
Clientele: Everyone — business lunches, Sunday brunches and any occasion in between
Web site: www.le-bretagne.com/e/top.html