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A charming slice of Brittany in the heart of Ainslie

Michelle Taylor 14 October 2019 75
Breizh café’s owner, Bruno

Bruno serving up a delicious plate of Raclette. Photos: Supplied.

A jaunty French song plays in the background as Breizh café’s owner, Bruno, crouches next to his Raclette grill. He is waiting for the perfect moment to take the half-wheel of Raclette cheese out from under the heat.

It is a fine art.

“The cheese has to be close enough the heat to both melt and to caramelise,” Bruno explains.

“If it is too close to the heat, it will burn and caramelize too quickly but it won’t have time to melt.  If it is too far away, it just melts, but it doesn’t caramelise. With Raclette, you’ve got two textures and two flavours. You’ve got the caramelised crust on the top and melted oozing cheese underneath.”

As the heady, ripe fragrance of bubbling Raclette cheese drifts enticingly though the crêperie, the people at the next table express regret at not ordering this dish.

The perfect moment has arrived. Bruno scrapes a liberal amount of the toasted crust and the golden lava beneath onto a waiting plate of boiled and seasoned potatoes.

The theatre of the process is nearly as wonderful as the taste of the Raclette served French-style alongside a plate of charcuterie. This winter dish comes from the Swiss side of France.

Charcuterie

Raclette served up the French way with charcuterie at Breizh.

Bruno knew Canberrans would love it.

“We thought we would do it because no one else was doing it in Canberra. We are still the only place that does crêpe and galettes in Canberra, so why don’t we also do Raclette? We announced it on the Facebook page in early January and within 48 hours we had received 4,500 likes!”

The crêperie goes through more than 50 kilos of Raclette cheese a month.

Tucked away in leafy Ainslie, Breizh has been quietly turning out authentic Breton cuisine for six years.

‘’We had this idea a long time ago, but we were not ready. The kids were young. We thought, ‘in the meantime, someone else will have the idea of doing a crêperie’. After all those years, no one did. Then we were finally ready. The kids grew up.”

Owners, Bruno and Bronwyn bring decades of food industry experience and prestige to Breizh. Bruno has worked for many years in top end, fine dining establishments in both France and Canberra. He specialised in complex and delicate dishes. Bronwyn had two restaurants in Canberra before pausing her food journey to raise the kids.

Bronwyn and Bruno at Breizh

Bronwyn and Bruno at Breizh.

On the cusp of embarking on a new food journey together, Bruno and Bronwyn knew it was time to create simple, tasty food.

They had an established concept ready to go: Breizh. A café and crêperie. The word ‘Breizh’ means ‘Brittany’ in the Britannic language.

And Breizh certainly transports the diner to Brittany. From the music to the grey stones set into the walls just like an ancient Breton cottage. Bronwyn’s nostalgic watercolour paintings of the 18 months she spent in Vannes on the coast of Brittany with Bruno and their boys hang over the entrance.

Oversized, barrel-shaped light fixtures add to the rustic ambience.

The menu is authentically French. The baguettes, croissant, even the butter. You can come here to taste arguably the most decadent pastry in the world, ‘kouign-amann’, a Breton specialty. Pair it with Breizh’s luxurious and spicy hot chocolate. Most of the wines and ciders are French.

Don’t come to Breizh hoping to order your favourite brunch or breakfast dish. Breizh does not do burgers, nor Vegemite on toast, and there is DEFINITELY no tomato sauce.

Bruno recommends that first-time visitors order a galette or crêpe. He mentions the points of difference between the two.

“A crêpe is sweet and made with regular flour. A galette is a savoury version of a crêpe and is made with buckwheat flour.”

French breakfast

The perfect breakfast: baguette, French butter and galettes, with French cider served in porcelain bowls.

The crêperie is thriving in Ainslie. Every person that has come through the door this busy morning knows Bruno and Bronwyn. They greet each other fondly and chat.

Bruno says that, despite their continuing success and growing reputation, they have no plan to expand Breizh.

“We are more interested in the conviviality and the connection with our customers. We have so many regulars. That’s what we love the most.

“We feel that every business needs to renew itself. We need to bring something new and different to our customers. This year it has been Raclette. We are already talking about next year.”

Having occasionally popped into Breizh just so their superb baguette and butter can transport me to France, I cannot wait to see what they will do next year.

Breizh is located at 2/15 Edgar Street in Ainslie.

They are open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm from Wednesday to Saturday, and from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sundays.

Find out more about their story and menu on their website.  Keep up with the latest at Breizh on their Instagram and Facebook pages.

Crêpe

A homemade lemon curd and strawberries crêpe.


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75 Responses to A charming slice of Brittany in the heart of Ainslie
Janine Culnane Janine Culnane 11:51 pm 19 Oct 19

Jesse Spurrell note this for next time we are in town

Julia Portus Julia Portus 1:10 pm 19 Oct 19

Delicious food - Well done Bruno and Bronwyn!!

Chloe Harradine-Hale Chloe Harradine-Hale 6:25 am 19 Oct 19

Lynda Harradine been a long time since we've been!

Karen Freer Karen Freer 5:39 pm 18 Oct 19

Sharon Orr morning tea date?

Graeme Billett Graeme Billett 7:12 am 18 Oct 19

José - oui, oui, oui!

Kanchan Iyer Kanchan Iyer 10:52 pm 17 Oct 19

Heather we should head here for some Raclette eating!!

Nick Krempff Nick Krempff 7:25 pm 17 Oct 19

Annelise Corey hmmmmmmm

M-Shaka Bubu-Klaus M-Shaka Bubu-Klaus 6:22 pm 17 Oct 19

Lauren Oakey Ohhh gosh!

    Lauren Oakey Lauren Oakey 9:10 pm 17 Oct 19

    M-Shaka Bubu-Klaus omg yum - we are definitely going!

    M-Shaka Bubu-Klaus M-Shaka Bubu-Klaus 9:49 pm 17 Oct 19

    Lauren Oakey this Saturday is looking good for me... why don’t we do it then?

    Lauren Oakey Lauren Oakey 9:52 pm 17 Oct 19

    M-Shaka Bubu-Klaus awesome yes let’s do it!

Chloe Sullivan Chloe Sullivan 1:46 pm 17 Oct 19

Thomas Croucher We're going here when you get back!!

    Thomas Croucher Thomas Croucher 2:44 pm 17 Oct 19

    Chloe Sullivan You've never been?!?! Oh my gosh they have the best crepes. I could die happily after eating them 😃

    Chloe Sullivan Chloe Sullivan 2:45 pm 17 Oct 19

    Thomas Croucher I haven't. But now I definitely want to go!!

    Thomas Croucher Thomas Croucher 4:03 pm 17 Oct 19

    Chloe Sullivan We certainly are when I get back! Can you hold out until January? 😂

    Chloe Sullivan Chloe Sullivan 4:21 pm 17 Oct 19

    Thomas Croucher I can probably manage 🤣

Hamish McConville Hamish McConville 9:02 am 17 Oct 19

Armelle you should have gone here!

    Armelle Congard Armstrong Armelle Congard Armstrong 12:51 am 18 Oct 19

    I will be back and we go together !

Nick Kennedy Nick Kennedy 8:23 am 17 Oct 19

Javier Cross what are the odds?

    Javier Cross Javier Cross 8:49 am 17 Oct 19

    Nick Kennedy now we actually have to have their food

Janice Wykes Janice Wykes 7:11 am 17 Oct 19

The best - food and people 💕. Alix C-w didn’t know we could have raclette there!!

Jacqui Whiting Jacqui Whiting 2:00 am 17 Oct 19

Kathryn Gulan. Have you been here?? ❤️

Angela Lillicrap Angela Lillicrap 10:05 pm 16 Oct 19

Quinn Ryan can we go here one day

Michal Bundy Michal Bundy 9:13 pm 16 Oct 19

Why is everything good on the north side?😥

Jessica Bramwell Jessica Bramwell 8:59 pm 16 Oct 19

Such a WONDERFUL local. Has been for years.❤️❤️❤️❤️

Lucy Hutchens Lucy Hutchens 5:40 pm 16 Oct 19

Susannah Coen go there!

Cassandra Nokham Cassandra Nokham 5:08 pm 16 Oct 19

Egnay Lafe Tiao Kanitha Nokham look what is in Canberra !!

Cassandra Nokham Cassandra Nokham 5:06 pm 16 Oct 19

Virasinh Sayasane we should go here

Alison Saurus Alison Saurus 4:54 pm 16 Oct 19

Laura Frame! Laura! Laura!

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