By Kathryne Grisim (@foodmuser)
Keep an open mind when you pull up in front of Crème DeL’Essence (1833 Inkster Boulevard) and get ready to experience something absolutely unique. I, for one, was not expecting a restaurant of this calibre in the middle of an urban industrial park.
Black and white photographs adorn black walls, but the room is astonishingly bright due to their south-facing windows. Tables are simple and are surrounded by what I would call “church chairs” — the kind that can be stacked impossibly high.
The menu itself is a basic laminated sheet. But this is where the mundane departs and luxurious food enters the scene. We started by sharing black garlic linguine with arugula and parmesan. The lengthy pasta ribbons were satiny and the creamy sauce was offset with peppery arugula leaves. We moaned with our first tastes and were not shy about finishing every last dollop of sauce.
My lunch date opted for an all-day breakfast item and chose the ube pancakes. We were baffled by the purple flesh of the flapjack. With research, I discovered that the colour comes from the ube yam which is used in a variety of Filipino desserts such as ice cream, cakes, hopia, and halo-halo. The pancakes themselves were fluffy and delicious, sensational when topped with bruleed bananas and coarsely chopped hazelnuts. When my companion could not finish her portion, I picked up her fork and did the deed for her!
My eye had been drawn to the chicken poutine, where pulled chicken confit adorns herbed fries and are smothered with roasted corn, cheese curds, gravy, grape tomatoes and an option of shaved foie gras! I decided to dial back the decadence level and chose roasted brussel sprouts enhanced by a pomme puree and more chopped hazelnuts. From our elementary French we thought that the pomme puree would be apple sauce but was, in fact, a pureed potato as in pomme de terre or potato in French.
My relatively light choice meant I could indulge in my companion’s leftovers. When you visit, ensure that you have your elasticized pants on as your tummy is sure to expand with the lavish fare.
Crème de L’Essence is owned and operated by RJ Urbano and Ryan San Diego. The have all-day, takeout and catering menus available. For hours of operation, see the restaurant’s Facebook page.
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