On Laidback Late Lunches: La Creperie, Shangri-La Plaza Mall
Updated: Oct 8, 2022
Some time after I dined at La Creperie's Robinsons Galleria branch, I paid their Shangri-La Plaza Mall location during the penultimate Sunday of August 2014. The trip was a well-deserved one since I rendered two successive weekends of overtime work. The fact that I arrived there just in time for a late Sunday lunch made it all the better, as there weren't much people. Shangri-La Plaza Mall is a shopping center that leans towards the more affluent crowd.
This particular branch of La Creperie does not have the luxury of being enclosed, as it consists of a kiosk and a rather comfortable area at the mall's western section. Those who prefer a more private dining experience and who shy away from the ambient noise of passersby may not find it ideal to dine here. It also appears to be rather off, being in the middle of high-end clothing purveyors. As I mentioned, the best time to visit would be around 2:00 in the afternoon when customer traffic is rather low.
The reservations I had with the joint's location quickly disappeared upon experiencing La Creperie's signature polite and fast service. Staff members were quick to usher me to an empty table as soon as I arrived. They also got my orders down pat, and served everything with accuracy even before I started preparing my notes.
La Creperie also carries a number of tea selections from TWG Tea, which incidentally had a (now-closed) branch at the same mall. I picked the signature 1837 Black Tea, which is "a unique blend of black tea infused with fruits and flowers from the Bermuda Triangle which leaves a lingering aftertaste of ripe berries, anise, and caramel." Berries and flowers emerged from the tea as I poured it out, with an astringent aftertaste highlighting the cup. The addition of sugar to the tea made the floral notes emerge, with a flowery aftertaste following suit. Little did I know that this fruity and flowery brew would be a good accompaniment for the later offerings.
I had barely started writing down my initial notes for the tea when the Soup of the Day arrived. It happened to be pumpkin soup with a slice of garlic bread which tasted rather exceptional – so I ordered two extra slices. The staff member asked if I wanted some freshly cracked pepper on top, to which I obliged. The soup was well-seasoned, with the cream adding an extra richness to the pumpkin. Here's a little tip: Dunk the garlic bread in the soup! The low point for this one, if it counts, is the rather earthy taste which apparently came from the main ingredient.
And then the star of the show arrived. The Crevette Crepe consisted of shrimp, crab fat and spinach cooked in béchamel sauce, enveloped in a thin crepe covering. A side salad of lettuce greens tossed in vinaigrette accompanied it. I broke the crepe open and the béchamel oozed out, the crab fat turning it a bright yellow. This combination contributed a tart taste, while the shrimps delivered a savory note. The spinach served a two-fold purpose by toning down the saltiness and giving a leafy twist to the plate.
What I liked most about this crepe were the shrimps! They were large, plump and substantial that you would have a chunk of shrimp in every bite. The crepe carried all the flavors together to round out the meal! The astringency of the tea I ordered washed down the savory taste of the crepe, making this an unforgettable dish! (However, those with hypertension or seafood allergies may prefer to forget this dish.)
Just like my earlier trip, I ordered one of La Creperie's sweet offerings to finish my meal. The Oreo Cookies and Cream Crepe fulfilled that role perfectly. It consisted of chocolate syrup and Oreo biscuit bits in a chocolate crepe, topped with even more chocolate syrup and crushed biscuits. A scoop of vanilla ice cream topped off the entire crepe, which toned down the sweetness as it melted. This dessert crepe is tamer compared to the Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie Crepe I tried at La Creperie's Robinsons Galleria branch, but it still needs to be eaten slowly.
I completely closed out this meal with some chocolate macarons from the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel Bakeshop. These were originally slated to be part of my macaron review, but they did not make it in time for publishing. The chocolate macarons had the same size as their counterparts from TWG Tea and Bizu Patisserie, albeit cheaper. One bite revealed the hollow and delicate halves with a chocolate ganache filling in between. Despite this shortcoming, these confections are nevertheless fantastic when paired with a good tea - say, English Breakfast with milk.
La Creperie has opened up a number of branches ever since I first wrote this review. Fortunately, this branch is still open as of January 2021 – when I last visited the high-end shopping complex. I hope to still return here when things normalize.
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Until the next review, bon appetit!