Thursday, December 11, 2014

PAUL Boulangerie Patisserie - Tempting French Bistro Savoury Fare

I have always frequented PAUL outlets for their tasty pastries, and compared to some of their closest competitors, PAUL has far better breads and desserts.

It is a surprise to discover that with their recent menu revamp, that they do provide a nice alternative for a full meal outing as well.

As a bistro bakery cafe, the food that you will expect here is of a simpler, more rustic sort. Despite this, there are still some rather pleasant finds.

We have certainly come a long way since DeliFrance. French bistros and cafe bakeries like PAUL represent a far better depiction of this genre of food establishments and whilst it is still a franchise concept, the quality has come a long way since a few decades ago.

Salade De La Mer

For salad lovers, their seafood salad combo is really quite a treat. Filled to the brim with an abundance of ingredients, it has well cooked shrimps, large chunky avocados and refreshing slices of grapefruit all tossed and plated very beautifully.

It was all very light and despite being a little under seasoned, I really enjoyed the explosion of textures and flavours. And the portion was quite hefty for a single person, so expect to share when you order this.

Tartine Boeuf

Their open faced sandwiches are the stars of the new menu, and my favourite among the new additions has to be this delicious grilled steak tartine. The beef was executed faultlessly, retaining the moistness and the goodness of beef flavours within.

Served on top of the bread that had a flavourful herb cream cheese, the combination proved unbeatable. The portions were nicely divided into mouthfuls, and each bite had a perfect balance of classic French flavours that will linger on throughout the meal.

Longe De Thon

For the mains, my pick goes to this somewhat unexpected dish for a classic French bistro. Well seared and seasoned tuna loin that was cooked to a faultless medium rare level. Trust me, that large chunk of medium rare in the center should be the way you eat tuna. Not fully pink as it will drive away all the juicy qualities of the fish protein.

The roasted vegetables proved to be just as delectable and winning on the plate. Garnished with a sweet cranberry sauce, it was a colourful plate that packed a little surprise and a good variety of flavours.

Eclair Paris Brest

And for the pastries, it was not a letdown either. The hazelnut mousse/cream eclair was a personal favourite. Though the choux was a bit slightly on the hard side, the hazelnut was delicious and addictive.

Gaufre Avec Glace

Their waffles actually looked quite pale on the night, but surprisingly crispy when you bite into it. Though I have had better waffles elsewhere, it was still a decent tasting one that will please most waffle lovers. The slightly different plating of the waffles was also quite stunning to look at too.

There are other classic French fare here, including a duck confit that did not really impress with either its size or its execution. But other than a couple of small missteps, the new menu largely makes the cut and if you are looking for an affordable and comfortable bistro to spend a lunch or dinner, this makes perfect sense.

In particular, the steak tartine alone makes a trip to PAUL a worthwhile one. That one dish is so good, you will likely return for more.

PAUL Boulangerie
Tanglin Mall
163 Tanglin Road

Also available at other PAUL outlets including Ngee Ann City and Westgate.

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