A sweet slice of charming coastal Brittany

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Smoked salmon galette… pretty on the plate, simple yet sophisticated. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

“The café’s décor is inspired by the owners’ French sojourn – pretty blue paintwork, Breton memorabilia and artwork, and textures and colours from the stone wall cottages of charming coastal Brittany,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.

FROM the minute we walked in the door we were embraced with the warmth and affection of Breizh Café – not physically, because of COVID-19, but emotionally.

Wendy Johnson.

This little slice of Brittany is a must visit.

The owners, Bruno Paressant, born in Brittany, and Bronwyn Thomson, with decades in the food industry, opened their crêperie after returning from living with their two sons in the quaint coastal town of Vannes. The café’s décor is inspired by their French sojourn – pretty blue paintwork, Breton memorabilia and artwork, and textures and colours from the stone-wall cottages of charming coastal Brittany.

Breizh specialises in crepes and patisserie from Brittany and around France.

It was lunchtime and while the items on the specials board were enticing, we settled on savoury galettes made with gluten-free buckwheat flour. 

The smoked salmon – presented as a rose in the centre – was pretty on the plate and so simple yet sophisticated. It came with Gruyère, cut into perfect cubes, and a hard-boiled egg, cut the same way. Perky tomatoes supported the flavour profile as did the sour cream and lovely, salty capers ($23).

Mushroom galette… loaded with flavour. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

The mushroom galette, beautifully presented, was also served with Gruyère, and potatoes sautéed in parsley and garlic butter and baby spinach ($22.50). It was loaded with flavour but not heavy.

We enjoyed lunch with a quality rosé – a Grenache/shiraz blend from Provence ($11 glass or $45 bottle).

Our table was close to the big glass cabinet, loaded with gorgeous sweet and savoury items. Fresh breads stacked in baskets are lined on top of the cabinet and we drooled over what was lined up inside, including cakes and pastries, all made with butter not oil.

Kouign-Amann… as rich and delectable as promised. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

Speaking of butter, Bruno recommended the traditional Kouign-Amann for dessert, which originated in Brittany around 1860. He promised, with a massive grin on his face, that it was calorie-free. Here’s the thing. Kouign means cake and amann means butter. The dessert is bread dough layered and folded with butter and sugar, and then more butter and sugar and then more butter and sugar. The cake is slow baked and eventually the sugar caramelises the outside. It’s as rich and delectable as promised. What a sweet deal at only $7 – and we didn’t give a hoot about the calories.

Chocolate fudge cake… no words to describe the experience. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

We also shared the gluten-free chocolate fudge cake ($5.50). There are no words to describe the experience. And we loved that both desserts were served warm, bringing out the flavours.

The staff at Breizh Café are all charming, super friendly and determined to make you feel at home.

Breizh Café has some food items for sale and my only regret with is that I accidentally forgot to buy a roll of the butter from Normandy!

Breizh Café, 15 Edgar Street, Ainslie shops. 

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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