I was skeptical about the 100% rice flour crepes from first US location of the Tokyo-based restaurant, Eight Turn Crepe. Though they have received glowing reviews on Yelp since opening on Spring Street on August 1st, it seemed like the concept might be a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. After all, traditional, wheat-flour based crepes are pretty damn good the way they are. Of course, I was missing the point.
Eight Turn Crepe isn't just bringing a new wheat-free crepe to the city—a boon for those with gluten allergies—they're innovating a whole new way to serve crepes and offering Japanese-influenced ingredients and fillings that are quite different to other crepes served here. Fillings like lychee and matcha custard on the sweet side and edamame and seaweed on the savory side.
The Matcha Stripe Chocolate sweet crepe ($7) contained a whole parfait's worth of complimentary ingredients including fresh strawberries, housemaid chocolate truffles, whipped yogurt, matcha green tea custard. and crushed pistachios. A thin stripe of chocolate sauce is drizzled over the whole thing.
The combination of the hot rice flour crepe, the slightly tart whipped yogurt, and the mildly sweet matcha custard is thoughtful and satisfying. These two smooth textures along with the strawberries reminded me of a good parfait with the glass container swapped out for a crepe. As a bonus, there are three or four chocolate truffles floating around inside the layers like chunks of brownies in a ice cream sundae. Crushed pistachios add some nice texture, and a thin stripe of chocolate sauce is drizzled over the whole thing.
If this crepe "cone" and ingredients had been served to me as a plated dessert in a good restaurant, I would have been very pleased—especially given some of the refined ingredients like the green tea custard. But that's what's great about Eight Turn's ultra-casual model—you don't have to sit down at a restaurant or even a counter to enjoy these crepes (there are no seats anyway except for two benches outside). You can walk down the street and eat it like an ice cream cone from its special tear-away sleeve. I'll definitely be back to eat my way through the rest of the sweet menu.
Though I'll end with something savory: a very enjoyable Tofu Edamame crepe ($8.75) with green beans, julienned carrots, daikon radish, baby spinach, boiled egg, sesame dressing and pistachios.
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