Stop at Holi, the newest address in Pondicherry for warm crepes, vintage furniture, toys and craft.
ATYPICAL old Tamil house in Needrajapaiyer Street is not where you would expect to find a slice of Britanny—the northwestern region of France—synonymous for its crepes. But Crepe in Touch, where the freshly made food and vintage bric-a-brac are reminiscent of France, also has a definitive South-Indian aura, making for that familiar mélange that is so characteristic of Pondy.
The creperie—that opened this week—is the fourth establishment that makes up Holi — Pondicherry’s new collective hub. With a room for each, browse through Lakshmi’s Banjara embroidered leather purses, linen skirts and cotton kurtis at Surya’s Garden and stop by to see Manoj Dixit’s Bricol Art, an ensemble of mixed media works and quirky upcycled objects like a bicycle pedal that doubles up as a toilet-paper dispenser. Martine Mallard’s Cottonwood where sturdy South Indian wood furniture is reinvented, painted in pastel shades or upholstered in pop colours, has also relocated here.
Packing oodles of colour and charm, Fanny Godara’s Crepe in Touch is at once inviting with its open skylight, bar seating and sunny play-area for kids complete with picture books, rocking horse and doodle corner. “I always wanted to create something of my own and hailing from Brittany, a creperie was the obvious choice. I want to explore how we can fuse Indian touches with our French menu,” says Fanny, married to Indian, Balwant Godara. Porcelain plates, vintage crates, wooden signboards, retro posters and other trinkets collected from her hometown in Finistere (the extreme end of Brittany) vividly contrast with cotton saris hung as drapes, kolam painted tabletops and striped bamboo mats.
While the usual suspects like sugar and lemon or Nutella crepes figure in the menu, Fanny’s home-made salted butter caramel crepe which evokes memories of sucking toffee on a seashore, is the one to dive into. But it is the savoury crepes or galettes that seal the deal. Keeping close to the signature Brittany ones, the airy crepes are made with buckwheat and folded over wholesome options ranging from pesto, tuna, marinated tomatoes, mushrooms, ratatouille or bacon. The Groix we tried was a burst of tender chicken and fresh cream in every mouthful. Apart from the crepes, a quiche of the day, desserts, quinoa salads and beverages make up the menu which features an occasional specialty, L’assiette gourmand — the fish terrine platter.
8 am to 7 pm. Crepes from Rs 70 onwards. Furniture from Rs 2,500 onwards. Details: 09787810756
— Olympia Shilpa Gerald