When Taro Akimoto of Taro’s Ramen emails Broadsheet out of the blue just to talk about a new eatery, you take notice.
Akimoto’s friend Tomoko Oka opened Crepe Kamon in West End in December, bringing Japanese-style crepes to Brisbane. Oka’s decision to take the plunge and launch her first venue stemmed from her fascination with food trends. The Tokyo-born chef says although Japanese dishes like gyoza and ramen had taken off in Australia, the island nation’s colourful reinterpretation of the French crepe had somehow flown under the radar.
“It’s everywhere in Japan and very popular in New York so I thought, ‘Why not bring it to Brisbane?’” she says.
Unlike the original French variety, Japanese crepes are rolled up in a cone like an ice-cream so they can be eaten with one hand. “In Japan a crepe is a symbol of youth and pop culture,” Oka says. “They’re very colourful and very visual.”
The crepes at Crepe Kamon are no different. Oka uses fresh berries, strawberries, bananas and other fruits to make her sweet crepes, which she cooks in front of customers. “[They] get to see how the batter spreads and it quickly becomes a beautiful, artistic crepe,” she says.
Oka also recently added savoury varieties to the menu, with a particular focus on Japanese fillings like Wagyu beef, shabu-shabu pork and miso chicken. Unlike their sweet counterparts, these are served on a plate. All crepes can be eaten at the venue or taken away.
Crepe Kamon has indoor and outdoor seating for 20 people. The decor is simple but features crepe sampuru on one wall opposite a hand-painted kamon (Japanese family crest), which Oka designed for the venue.
In addition to food, Crepe Kamon serves coffee from the Hendra-based Wolff Roasters and Japanese tea and blends from Arakai Estate on the Sunshine Coast.
1/60 Vulture Street, West End
(07) 3846 5443
Sun to Fri 11am–4.30pm