Take It From Paul

LAST MONTH, WE gave you a sneak peek at Paul’s which is easily becoming the latest hotspot for fine diners alike. This French boulangerie does not only boast of their baked goods, but they also have an extensive restaurant menu fit for any foodie of Riyadh.
In our latest visit to Paul’s, we were now able to dine in and discover what they serve.
Upon entering the Family Section, it immediately feels like a huge dining hall of a chateau, complete with large vintage baking posters and paintings adorning the walls. In rows were separated tables, instead of a long one (as it would in a chateau). The dining area is divided into three: one that directly meets you as you enter, another that can be secluded and an al fresco section can also be considered (with a garden aptly landscaped and dim lighting to boot).
Maison de Quality means “House of Quality”
We were seated immediately and as we began reading our menu, we did run into some trouble in pronouncing the names of the dish. I did take some basic French in high school but that could only take me as far as prepositions and not pronouncing the last letters — but luckily, an English explanation of the contents of the dish follows the often-tongue-twister-like names that you’d read off the list. 😉
Everything prominently French was on the menu, like the traditional onion soup, gratins and quiches. But they also offer the staple items such as salads, steak, seafood, pizzas, pastas and sandwiches — but all done to meet a French restaurant’s standards – which most people (French people) consider superior than most. With that being said, expect that the price of their items meets that level just as much. After all, they wouldn’t call it “House of Quality since 1889” for nothing.
In true Filipino form though, we ordered more than we should have. A table for three looked liked six people were dining there (Well, how else can we best tell you what’s good if we don’t try to order as much as we can? Hihi) Here’s what we had:
Complimentary bread
A summery fruit shake
Our waiter brought us our bread first which we paired with Paul’s own packed olive and butter spreads. It met our expectations, which were only for it to be freshly baked (they are a bakery after all). Some of our choice of drinks were not available that night so I ended up with this summery fruit shake that I forgot the name of (sorry for that). The drink was just okay. It got me thinking though, if only wine were allowed to be served in the Kingdom, then a little bit of that would have been great to accompany our starters (especially the cheese platter):
Cheese Platter, 55SR
Who is a cheese person? I am! I honestly have dreams of attending cheese and wine tasting events in the next decade of my life and this just happens to be the beginning of it. Their cheese platter is composed of blue cheese (top), goat milk cheese (middle) and cheddar (or Dubliner, not quite sure) cheese. Again, I am not a cheese expert just yet, but what I do know is that the blue cheese is best paired with grapes, while the goat milk cheese goes well with the walnuts (and choco chips) and the cheddar/dubliner cheese goes with a slice of apple. As for the tomatoes, I know they’re supposed to be great with mozarella but there weren’t any on the platter so I am not the best person to tell you why they are included there. 😛 But I’ll ask on my next visit.
Soupe a l’oignon tradionelle 29SR {Traditional French Onion Soup}
And the difficult name reading begins…LOL. Well, here we have the traditional french onion soup. Very well done (Campbell soup cans, eat your heart out!). This is one fine and fresh onion soup. Very rich and tasty and can easily fill you up if you’re not careful. I wasn’t able to finish my order not because it wasn’t good, but I was just worried that if I did, I wouldn’t get to enjoy the rest of our orders. By the way, french onion soup is naturally a tad bit sour, so if you’ve never tasted one before, just expect that along the way.
Crabe et Saumon Salade, 49SR
This big plate of crab sticks, fresh rocket leaves, avocado, smoked salmon, mixed green, fresh tomatoes and lemon dressing is a hands-down winner for us! If only we had the eating habits of the West, then this salad alone would suffice to be considered as the lone item for dinner. Almost everything were made from fresh ingredients, the crab sticks were pristine, the smoked salmon just gave flavor to the entire plate and the soft rumble of textures between the avocados, mixed greens and that crunchy slice of baguette on top made every bite and chew a delight. This salad is highly recommended. 🙂
 While that salad had us all praises, of course, we didn’t stop there. There’re more:
Creme Pasta with Shrimp
We weren’t able to jot down the real name of this pasta dish because it wasn’t included in the main menu itself (it was just displayed on the tables as an additional order) but we found this creme pasta very tasty especially since it had a hint of wasabi as an aftertaste. With its hefty serving, one order of this would be good for three people already.
Crepe au Saumon 49SR
This was our favorite since we were all salmon fanatics. This dish is made of two savory crepes of smoked salmon, cream cheese, light fresh cream topped with grated mozarella cheese. Served hot and delicious! Expect stringy strands of mozarella after every scoop. 🙂
Poulet Grille 79SR
Corn-fed chicken grilled to perfection with asparagus wrapped in beef bacon on the side. This main course is not much to rave about except if you are shooting for a safe choice. The mushroom sauce that accompanies it would be something to amp it up and the bacon (who doesn’t like bacon!?) but other than that, I can’t say much.
Filet de Boeuf Grille 119Sr
And the last of our main course choices was the steak, done medium well. Given that they offer the tenderloin part, the meat was moist and juicy enough but we believe that we’ve tasted better steak in another French restaurant so we can’t exactly be all praises for this particular one. At least if ever you are at Paul’s and find yourself craving for steak, they have one readily available.

By now, we were on French food overload (obviously). So we decided to dive into the chit chat for a while and even possibly, change tables (as if the change of scenery would override the fact that we’ve eaten aplenty!).

For dessert time, we asked if there was an available table at the outdoor section and luckily there was. We ordered coffee and a pot of tea and to accompany our conversations.

Chocolate Eclair
Almond Cake
Pot of Tea (Paul’s Selection)
We stayed for another half hour out in their al fresco section until our drinks were done and there was nothing left to talk about. Overall, we liked our stay at Paul’s — some items really stood out like the Crabe au Saumon Salade and the Saumon Crepe – upon return, I would order those two from their menu, and then kalas! Certainly not going to overload next time. 😉
The ambience was snug and it looked like couples in tables for two were enjoying their own conversations. The place easily filled up after the last prayer so if you plan on going there around that time, make sure to phone in a reservation. The waiters were fast and efficient and they really knew the menu (even the difficult pronunciations). Plus, I have to say their take out arrangement was very organized — I just had to say that because other restaurants don’t really care anymore if you’re taking home the rest of your order and just throw everything in in one styro box. But with Paul’s, it was cleanly done with each dish in separate containers, even the sauces and that impressed me. Though I did wish they had a paper bag to put it in and take it home with, instead of that big plastic bag that felt a little bit un-French for me.
Anyway, if you’re looking for something new, fine and French to dine in, why don’t you try Paul’s and have an elegant time!

 

PAUL
Aknaz Center – Al Tahliah St. 

For reservations:
T: 966-1-416 9125

Visit their website at:
www.paul-bakeries.com

Like them on Facebook:
http://facebook.com/PAUL1889.arabia

Bakeshops Food

About Author

Reina

The Communications Editor loves rock n' roll, food trips and is a self-proclaimed, arbiter of taste.

2 Comments

  1. ugh why riyadh paul&#39;s onion soup looks like the one in dubai while jeddah brand looks and taste different <br />

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