Royi’s Crêperie From one who set out to create the world's best crêpes

Tuesday, September 20 2022

Opening Times

Wednesday to Saturday: 11:00am - 7:00pm


Royi’s Crêperie
Hofmühlgasse 18
1060 Vienna-district 6
.How to get there


+43665 65466273

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You won't find the obligatory Nutella jar in Royi Shwartz's crêperie. In general, his crêpes have nothing in common with the soft dough patties you get at fairs and festivals. It's these simple dishes - pizza, burgers, crêpes - that separate the culinary wheat from the chaff. "It's simple, but then again, it's not so simple," says Royi, who moved to Vienna from his native Israel a few years ago. You could call him a food fanatic - and it is by no means meant negatively.

"If I saved all the money I invested in workshops and culinary travel, I could buy a house iat a prime city centre location." The 44-year-old has been involved with food for almost 30 years. He attended the legendary Culinary Institute of America and worked with Michelin-starred professionals all over the world, including Gordon Ramsay in London.

There, he discovered his love for street food, "honest, democratic food", as Royi calls it. At a semi-legal street market, he ate Swedish meatballs, Vietnamese sandwiches, and Japanese ramen (completely unknown back then, in 2005). For the first time, he saw people "who looked happy while cooking, who really enjoyed it".

Royis Crêperie 6
Royis Crêperie 1
Royis Crêperie 5

The experience stuck with him. And because there was a tiny crêpe shop near his London flat that delighted him with its simplicity and taste perfection (his second culinary revival experience), he decided to devote himself entirely to this food from then on.

He made 1417 attempts until, after three years, he had developed the perfect crêpe batter. When he got stuck, he travelled to the world's street food capitals - Bangkok, Istanbul, Parma - where he let locals guide him to the best, most remote, simplest places. "I got in the taxi and said: Take me to the best! Often I paid more for the ride than for the food."

His breakthrough experience: the fermented mayonnaise used on his breakfast crepe, among other things. Along with salumi, eggs, Worcestershire sauce and pickles. The sweet version comes with dulce de leche, granola (homemade, of course), bananas, and cocoa cream.

His motto: Do everything differently. And: "Creativity has no end". His Berry Straciatella Crêpe features fermented strawberries, chocolate sauce and cream cheese, and "Strawberry Juice Bubble Crunch". For this, he puts strawberry juice on air-poster foil and dries it in a special machine. Other homemade creations include Butter, Miso Salt, Koji Sauce, Mascarpone Cookies, Chocolate Truffle Powder, Marshmallows, Marzipan, Fermented White Chocolate, Gianduja, Tapenade, Pesto... The list could go on forever.

What he doesn't make himself, he gets from people that are as passionate about food as he is: tahina, for example, he gets from a producer in Israel, "probably the only one who makes it in wooden barrels". Tahina in a creêperie? Yes, for his new falafel crepe with confit falafel and homemade pickles. Sometimes, chickpeas fermented in koji and baked in tempura batter come along for the ride.

Royi, who cooked elaborate tasting menus in Michelin-starred restaurants for years, is all about bringing this variety of flavours to a single crêpe. That's why he uses a mixture of five types of mushrooms (including fermented, dried and cooked in koji) for his mushroom crêpe; takes a crate of oranges into the Viennese forests to roast them over an open fire; makes his crêpes with sourdough that is given a week to develop its flavour.

He finds inspiration everywhere: from his 96-year-old grandmother, at lectures, during the internships he undertakes during his holidays.

For some time now, he has been offering homemade lemonades because he wanted to process crooked and leftover fruit. "Waste drink" is what he calls it. However, even so-called "waste" can be a culinary revelation! The drinks are sweetened with grapes, which are boiled down for weeks to a caramel-like, solid mass - a technique that Royi ("I've been studying ancient sweets for a while.") copied from the ancient Egyptians.

On Saturdays, his small restaurant is transformed into a bakery. Here, too, the culinary jack-of-all-trades gives free rein to his creativity: koji croissants, Jerusalem-style bagels, fougasse, French toast, crêpe cookies....

Food, he says, is good when you can't stop after the first bite, when you want to keep eating. My plate is empty in no time. And if he were to serve me his homemade Nutella, I would probably spoon the jar to the end.

Royi’s Crêperie – From one who set out to create the world’s best crêpes
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