Time Out Says
The waiter welcomes us with complimentary blue cordials. They are syrupy and too sweet to finish but the gesture is cute. It’s all downhill from here. We quickly realise that getting our server’s attention is a necessary challenge if we want to receive any food. After flagging down our reluctant waiter we finally order – about ten minutes after receiving the menu.
As the name indicates, the theme of this cafe is crêpes. And they have all kinds. The idea – clever, if not a little gimmicky – is promising. We start with the margarita crepizza, which uses a crepe for the crust of a traditional cheese pizza. The result is underwhelming. The crêpe is too light to support the mountain of mozzarella and is slightly sweet, which doesn’t pair well with the salty cheese. The flavours are bland and despite the quirky take on pizza the dish feels uncreative. Next we try the tuna salad. Piled high with lettuce and topped with vegetables and tuna, the salad looks substantial and fresh. The taste is so-so. The lettuce is crisp and there are plenty of ingredients and flavours, but the tangy mustard dressing is overpowering and the tomatoes are bland and lifeless.
Finally, we try the crepasta, a dish they seem to be proud of at Alouette. The pasta is made out of sliced crêpes – again, cute and clever. We order the pink sauce with chicken. The presentation is beautiful. Heaping ribbons of crepasta mixed with chicken look delicious at this point. But it is sadly another disappointment. The crêpes make a fluffy pasta, which tastes as awkward as it sounds. The sauce is a standard pink sauce that would taste good with the chicken – which was perfectly cooked and the best part of the meal – if it topped actual, al dente pasta.
We finish with a coffee and a Nutella crêpe. At this point we are in crêpe overload, but must try this classic. Here is where Alouette hits its stride. The crêpe at last has returned to its natural habitat, the dessert plate. This meal has taught us that this is where it should stay. The crêpe is fluffy and sweet and the Nutella as always is delicious.
Overall, at best this is a reasonably-priced novelty dessert shop. At worst, the atmosphere and menu are contrived, the service is lacking and the food, save the dessert, sacrifices taste for a clever idea. If you happen to have a five-year-old Francophile with a sweet tooth, this might be worth a trip for dessert, otherwise skip this exaggerated café.
The bill (for two)
Margarita crepizza Dhs42
Tuna salad Dhs36
Crepasta with chicken Dhs48
Nutella crepe Dhs24
Total (excluding service) Dhs150
By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff | 17 Dec 2013
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