Thinking of somewhere to go, where I have not been before but also somewhere reasonably close to work, I decided to try Cafe Breton. Having been there a couple times previously for coffee but not having the opporuntity to try any of their French delicacies -pastisserie, baguettes, crepes etc.
I walked in just after 7am and saw all the staff members huddled around a table (perhaps having a staff meeting) who all turned around. I felt like i had interrupted something. I asked politely if they were open, they responded ‘yes’ in a nice welcoming tone. I was the first patron of the day, which was quite nice as I was able to choose any seat that I wanted and did not feel like I was being scrutinized.
The atmosphere is casual and relaxed. The large windows allows for a lot of natural light to beam into the cafe where you can watch passers go by. It was brought back memories of our trips to France to hear all the staff members conversing in French and their lovely French accents when they spoke English. You certainly do not need to worry that the food being served is not authentic French as clearly they are.
Cafe Breton seem to specialise in crepes as 3/4 of their menu is sweet and savoury crepes while the remaining 1/3 is their usual french affair of croque monsieur, french breakfast etc – their all day menu, salads and soups.
I wanted to try their almond croissant but they did not look very appealing at all, so decided to pass on it and indulged on a croque monsieur.
Croque Monsieur – It did not take very long for it to be served. I assume this is because it had been premade and all they needed to do was grill the cheese on top. The croque monsieur had thick layer bechamel sauce which tasted fairly floury. I would not have minded the amount of bechamel sauce but the floury taste was slightly off putting and it was not warmed right through. The top of the croque monsieur was toasted perfectly golden, blubbly where some of the cheese on the edge of the sandwich was slightly crunchy. looking from at the profile I was thinking ‘only one thinly layer of ham? what a rip off!’ As I ate my way to the centre I noticed there was more than one thin layer of ham, so I was happy.
The side salad of rocket, grated carrot was fresh and crispy. with a light vinaigrette dressing which helped balance the richness of the croque monsieur.
Flat White – coffee beans by Supreme, a local Wellington coffee and one of my favourite beans. Coffee was delicious and perhaps one of the better coffees made by a French restaurant/cafe, as they generally do not know how to make a good coffee as it is either to hot, watery or bitter.
Good little cafe, would definitely like return to try some of their sweet and savoury crepes. Is this the best croque monsieur I have tasted? no, I have had better. I am partial to croque monqieur that uses brioche where the bread is more buttery and softer – I know it is not very traditional.
Location: 20 Brandon Street, Wellington