The arrival of a new crepe café in Braddon last year thrilled Canberra locals. What is not to get excited about when it comes to the versatile and delicious crepe?
Now, Wincy and Alex, the young couple behind MISU Castle, have added another layer of complexity to the humble crepe in Civic’s No Name Lane, showcasing Hong Kong-style mille crepe cakes. Twenty-five layers to be exact.
‘Mille’, French for a thousand, hints at the multiple layers in a crepe cake. Most crepe cakes call for 15 to 20 layers; however, Alex’s creations feature 25 layers. He sandwiches the crepes together with flavoured cream.
“We opened in August,” Wincy explains. “Our business was entirely online at first, but many locals asked if we could work out of a shopfront. We make some of our cakes here, but mostly we still make them at home.”
Alex brings the work ethic and creativity from his former job, cheffing in a 5-star Hong Kong hotel, into his dessert business. His desserts look nearly too pretty to eat. Alex’s mille crepe cakes have one extra magical touch: a genius lava centre.
I start my MISU adventure with a slice of the very popular matcha mille crepe cake. It is layers of delicate crepe and matcha creme crepe with a magically oozing lava centre. This dessert is not overly sweet, which means you can eat more of it. The matcha flavour is spot on. I don’t eat this cake the way I am probably meant to. I peel off one layer at a time, savouring it. The textures are fabulous and the matcha lava is delightfully sticky.
MISU runs two different flavours of mille crepe cake per week.
“We can’t offer just the same flavours week in and week out,” Wincy says. “That is so boring. We post our weekly flavours on Instagram and our Facebook story. People know us for our crepe cakes, but we make other desserts as well.”
Today’s other specialty is the Tom and Jerry Cheesecake. Isn’t it beautiful!
Wincy’s cousin designed MISU’s logo in honour of Wincy and Alex’s daughter. She also painted a stunning Hong Kong street scene across their back wall.
I take up Wincy’s suggestion of coconut mango sago – a much-loved drink in Hong Kong. This is such a refreshing summer drink with lush folds of coconut cream, fresh mango and satisfying gelatinous jubes of sago mixed in.
The dessert fridge displays sunset-hued mango pancakes and bright green durian pancakes.
“We use fresh durian mixed with cream for the filling in the durian pancakes,” Wincy explains.
I finish my cake and sago drink, then meander back to my car and sit there for a moment. I am thinking about those durian cream-filled pancakes; it feels like unfinished business. It isn’t every day you get the opportunity to taste a durian dessert. I run back into MISU and buy two. Soft, plump and green, the pancakes contain all the mystery and adventure of a flavour untested.
Durian must be the world’s most polarising fruit.
Journalist and food writer Bob Halliday once wrote of it: “To anyone who doesn’t like durian, it smells like a bunch of dead cats. But as you get to appreciate durian, the smell is not offensive at all. It’s attractive. It makes you drool like a mastiff.”
This is my first dip in the pool of durian, and I bite into it hesitantly. The texture is smooth and luxurious, the flavour rich and heady. It’s definitely an acquired taste. While I have not acquired the taste yet, I am thankful for this gentle introduction, and I will certainly sample durian again.
MISU Castle is located at Shop No 3 in No Name Lane, 40 Marcus Clarke St in Civic. It shares shop space with Real Tea, so look for that amazing Hong Kong St scene on the wall and slices of mille crepe cake in the display case.
At present, its opening hours are Monday to Friday, 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 pm to 9:00 pm, although Wincy feels that these hours may change as they continue to expand their range so check out their social media channels to stay up to date. Follow MISU Castle on Facebook and Instagram to see Alex’s latest creations and mille crepe cake flavours of the week.