Apr 9 2010
A RANDOM SATURDAY MORNING
Tubbymistress gazes longingly at a pair of blue and mustard candy-striped heels in the window at Kinki Gerlinki, a fashion oasis amongst the plethora of eateries in Melbourne’s Centre Place.
TUBBYMISTRESS: I want those shoes.
There’s only one thing that can save the credit card now.Aix Café Creperie Salon
24 Centre Place, Melbourne VIC
Aix Café Creperie Salon is the first of many tiny shops that line Centre Place, a grungy European-style laneway where the graffiti is artistic and the only traffic you’ll find is by foot. You’ll also find a quick and relatively cheap foody fix, a busker or two, perhaps a punch-up or two, and people capturing it all on camera.
This ‘petite miam’ is an antithesis to the sterile, overpriced, overinflated Legoland known as Docklands. It’s a great place to grab a relatively cheap meal during the day, Monday to Saturday … if you can get a seat. A table at the back accommodates four, and a handful of mini tables jutting out along the length of the café will assure a snug fit for two apiece. The best option is out the front, where you’ll find the two most accessible and spacious tables in this character-filled shoebox. Just tilt your head if the aircon starts dripping on you.
For crepes, I lean towards the sweet stuff – but then again, my last visit to the dentist was a hole-y experience that revealed a substantial bias toward refined sugar. The mixed berry crepe with rosewater yoghurt, although pleasant, surprisingly lacked the intensity of flavour generated by the simple but very delicious lemon sugar crepe – a steal at $4.50. If your teeth can handle the punishment, go for one of the decadent dessert crepes such as the nutella and cookies, or the sticky date with caramel sauce and double cream, as seen in all its pixellated glory at Munching (in) Melbourne.
If your hips really don’t lie, you’ll enjoy the nutritional value found in a few of the savoury crepes. The roma tomato, fontina and basil combination was fine but somewhat disappointing, the crepe perhaps too thick for my liking. The Peking duck crepe was excellent. Written as ’peeking duck’ on the menu, I was presented with a sweet, juicy crepe – not a glassy-eyed duck, as I had feared. As Tubbymaster remarked, this was superior to the smoked salmon crepe that lay on his plate.
TUBBYMISTRESS SAYS: No crepe will ever come close to the one I bought while passing through Avignon five years ago, the intensity of the lemon sugar vivid even now. It dripped down my wrists and stained my cuffs, leaving me a giggling mess as I laughed at the ‘crap’ pronunciation of ‘crepe’ and fought to keep the disobedient object in my hands and mouth instead of all over my clothes. Aix doesn’t press the same buttons, but it does provide an excellent crepe-y hit and an array of flavour combinations that will certainly have you coming back for more.