Although our thick Dutch pancakes are nothing like the thin French ones, our kids love both versions. We eat them regularly, both ‘pannenkoeken’ and ‘crêpes’, so I thought my twins would be the best people to accompany me to test the crêpes at restaurant Ô.Ju ex Au in Pézenas. Besides a wide choice of pancakes, this original restaurant also serves excellent coffee in a colourful setting.
Strolling the cobblestoned, medieval streets of picturesque Pézenas, the twins and I headed for Rue François Oustrin, where we couldn’t miss the cheerful façade of rest-Ô-bar Ô. Ju ex Au. If the pancakes were going to be as creative as the decoration, we were at the right spot.
Ô.Ju ex Au is run by Julie Aubert with the help of her mother Colette. Julie is officially a ‘Maître Crêpier’ and ‘Maître Galettière’ as well as a qualified and award-winning barista (1st in France in 2018) and values cooking with organic ingredients, which showed in the elaborate menu. It took us a while to order, given all the inventive combinations. We started with drinks – we could choose from all sorts of coffee, homemade cocktails, freshly pressed juices, locally crafted beer, and, of course, regional wines and bubbly ciders. And that was just the beverage menu!
Our twins have a sweet tooth, so they opted for a Nutella crêpe with a speculoos crumble. I had difficulty choosing, whereas I usually know exactly what I want. But the choice of crêpes with the most imaginative fillings, gluten-free galettes and pizza-style crêpes just all looked very appealing! Finally, I ordered the ‘Bollywood’: a vegetarian galette in the style of an Indian samosa. Julie and Colette make everything on the spot, using fresh ingredients. This might take a little longer but definitely has its benefits for the taste. The ‘Bollywood’ came with a soft boiled egg, a beautiful salad and a divine dipping sauce of the fluffiest whipped cream I have ever had.
The twins were having another crêpe for dessert. And I had to try the iced Nitro coffee, as I was very curious to taste one of the many coffees. Nitro coffee is a cold-brewed coffee, infused with nitrogen bubbles and then highly pressured to give it a thick and smooth texture. I wasn’t expecting the huge glass that arrived filled with perfect creamy iced coffee and topped off with whipped cream! We all agreed that we need to go back soon to try one of the other many culinary creations and have Chéri and Oldest taste them as well. Or maybe not, and keep it our little secret.
The colourful restaurant Ô.Ju ex Au is both a crêperie and a bar at the same time. Julie Aubert and her mother Colette dedicate all their attention to their incredible gourmet pancakes, using organic, local and fresh ingredients. They are open from 10h30 to 19h30 and are closed on Mondays and Thursdays.