On a cold February evening when you’re offered a crepe fix there really is only one answer. So, an invitation to L’Ami Malo a new stylish all day creperie and bar was too good to refuse. The French duo Emilien Lesourd and Vincent Couvreur bring a slice of Brittany to the back streets of Spitalfields in Artillery Passage.
The small restaurant, dimly lit has an air of refined minimalism with white washed walls, wooden tables, black chairs and a nod to nature with small simple flowers and greenery.
Tucked away at the back of the restaurant is Le Moulin a speakeasy bar, perfect for pre-dinner drinks. You can expect to find speciality craft ciders, regional wines and delicious French mixology.
On my visit I indulged in two rather delightful cocktails. The Pommeau Spritz, a blend of apple juice, cider, calvados and apple blossom flower and the Francois Sour – a regional take on the pisco sour. Both dangerously easy on the palette.
The star of the menu is the galette, a savoury buckwheat crepe – Hallelujah chime the gluten free brigade! Being a healthy option it ticks a lot of boxes.
In an inventive Asian twist a selection of the starters is dedicated to the maki roll. A rather unusual but intriguing addition to a French menu. The fillings include avocado with tomato salsa, cashew nuts and sour cream; ham hock with gherkin and piccalilli and smoked salmon with capers and crème fraîche.
Six pieces are presented on a wooden paddle, perfectly imitating the Japanese roll wrapped in a crepe. The flavourings in the avocado version were quite mild and would benefit being slightly stronger to counterbalance the rolled crepe. Overall I was impressed with the invention and ate a fair few.
Another veggie starter to receive the thumbs up came in the form of buckwheat goat’s cheese croquettes. They came topped with roasted heritage beetroot, kasha seeds, honey & thyme dressing. Oh so moorish – I did find it hard to share this platter.
For the mains you have a whole host of galettes to pick from. If they don’t tickle your taste buds there is also a choice of slow cooked ox cheek in red wine or cod wrapped in buckwheat.
A piece of advice when you order a galette – make sure you’re hungry. The mushroom fricassée arrived as an enormous folded triangle. Topped with a mixed leaf salad, I delved in to find a medley of mushrooms, spinach, tarragon and chimichurri sauce. Flavoursome and hearty I loved the garlic and parsley notes which complemented the mushrooms so well.
The Scottish salmon, apple, olive and hazelnut endive galette wasn’t a hit with Reena, another foodie and travel blogger I’ve befriended on my blogging journey. It wasn’t a complete disaster, bar the salmon she did love everything else on her plate. The choice of fillings is quite extensive with confit duck leg, cider braised pork cheek and morteau sausage options to tempt your meaty taste buds.
Naturally being in a crepiere I was quite excited about our final course. We were treated to four desserts, a vanilla cheesecake and baked Dutch rhubarb and finished with twirls of crispy crepes.
The dark chocolate delice with buckwheat nougatine, griottine cherries and pistachio ice cream was incredibly rich but equally moreish.
Followed by the lemon and blueberries soufflé, which is exactly what you’d expect – delicate, light and with the perfect tang factor.
The sweet fest ended with the restaurant’s version of the crepe suzette, caramelised sugar, butter, tangerine and smidgen of cointreau. It was the ideal way to conclude our delectable foray into Brittany’s traditional speciality.
L’Ami Malo is a welcome addition on the new restaurant scene. I love the fact it specialises in only one French food. A quirky French creperie with a modern twist is exactly what the London foodie scene needs.
L’Ami Malo | 14 Artillery Passage | London | E1 7LJ
Disclaimer: We were guests of L’Ami Malo, however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a trademark of the Curious Pixie.
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