PAUL Maison de Qualite or easily recognized as PAUL in Singapore has launched a new seasonal menu with 26 new dishes featuring many delights to bring that bit of wintery Christmas to the hot and humid Singapore.
My bestie (CJ) and I highly recommended the Confit de Conrad. Also known commonly as duck confit, the duck leg was slowly cooked in oil for two days before pan-frying its skin to a crackling crisp.
Confit de Canard (SGD$28.90)
This classic dish of Perigord region of France is one of PAUL’s favourite indulgences. Slow roast herb marinated duck leg, served with roasted vegetables and seasonal cranberry sauce.
CJ said, “it (the duck meat) suppose to melt away from the bone like butter” as she slowly pull the duck meat apart; and so it did like fresh soft serve ice cream straight from the mixer.
The dish, accompanied with a selection of roasted winter vegetables, was dressed with a thick tomato concuss and drizzle with a sweet cranberry sauce.
The salty duck meat and the juicy tender carrots coated with a mixture of savoury tomato sauce and sweet cranberry sauce created vibrant fireworks in my mouth, very much like watching them paint the night skies as the snow falls deep and sleigh bells jingle in the distance.
Tartine Boeuf (SGD$19.90)
Sirloin steak grilled to perfection on a bed of herb cream cheese, caramelised onions topped with a dash of balsamic glazing. Served warm.
The second dish I will recommend is the Tartine Boeuf. This open sandwich could be shared between a couple paired with a glass of Californian merlot or an Australian Shiraz.
Although I don’t eat beef but seeing CJ momentarily let out a satisfied sigh with her eyelids shut, her expressions simply explained everything. The grilled sirloin steaks must be lovely.
I on the other hand, took a bite of the tartine boeuf sans the beef.
The brown caramelised onions with french herb cream cheese spread on the rustic country bread canape is really good on its own.
The savoury peppery onions with the fresh herb creamy white layer of cheese on a crunchy petite size toast reminds me very much of the street of Italy with cobblestone pathways and someone playing the accordian.
It probably was like a snack an old Italian grandpa might have with a nice wine or brandy while sharing a nice afternoon chat with his beloved wife. The rustic, traditional golden age love; just like the stable and balance relationship of ingredients and flavours.
Salade de la Mer (SGD$20.90)
Fresh seafood salad topped with sautéed prawns, mussels, octopus, avocado, grapefruit and slices of red radish.
To start the evening before beef and poultry, I would recommend this seafood salad. Carefully tossed with a balsamic dressing, the salad is accentuated with slices of octopus, plump mussels and tout prawns.
The sweet grapefruit in the dish was like the fragrant deep red rose of a first date.
Paired it with mussel and a fork of the tangy musclun salad, it was like a pastel dream of a date at the funfair carousel; light and tangy. Switch it up with avacado, octopus and a fork of salad for a warm sunshine on a grassy field.
The only downer in that dish was the prawns as it was frozen rather than fresh. It just lacks that tender bite which would otherwise have been the perfect date.
Éclair Paris-Brest (SGD$7.50)
Traditional choux pastry with hazelnut cream.
Complete the 3 course meal with a Ećlair Paris-Brest, a almond flake covered choux pastry dessert filled with creamy hazelnut cream, dotted with caramel roasted whole hazelhuts.
The éclair was big enough to share it between a couple. The sweet dessert was a perfect end to the meal without much burden to the tummy.
The smoky roasted sweet hazelnuts gave me an image of a brick stone fireplace, a warm and steady fire lit and the smell of pine wood in the wooden lodge created the mood of Christmas as coloured lights twinkling in the Fir tree.
I took it all in one mouth (well half of it) while CJ took her time to slowly savour the dessert… (haha, you can see the stark difference between us). The hazelnut goodness filled my entire mouth and I felt like I was ice-skating at Rockerfeller Centre — Pure joy!
Café Miel (SGD$7.50)
Coffee with honey and milk froth topped with cinnamon
Finally wash everything down with a smooth Café Miel.
A coffee with honey and milk froth dusted with cinnamon. The sweetness of the honey marries the bitterness of the expresso coffee with the spice of cinnamon, possibly reflecting on our daily life, our reality of a hot and humid Singapore.
While the bitter been washed away and what was left behind was sweetness of the honey, just like the dishes brought in the cool comfortable winter, the coffee breaks the dream of a white snowy dream. Remember to give it a good stir once in awhile to keep on dreaming of a white Christmas.
Imported home made Jams and churned butter
The meal service also comes with this delicious basket of breads with a serving of butter and jam. Both churned butter and home made jam were made in France by PAUL and imported to the stores in Singapore.
Talk about dedication.
Besides the above, we also tried other dishes.
Longe de Thon (SGD$29.90)
Seasoned tuna loin grilled to perfection served with roasted vegetables and seasonal cranberry sauce.
Personally, I do not fancy this tuna dish. While it is served with the same winter vegetables and cranberry sauce, the grilled tuna was not on par. The overall tuna dish was fishy and I suspected the fish was not fresh. I expected the pink centre to uphold its rich velvety texture but it was mushy like the aftermath of a raw garlic clove smashed by the chopper knife.
Since I was unsure at that moment, I consulted my cousin who is trained in cooking later on what I had tasted from this dish. He mentioned that the tuna fillet needs to be fresh so that the dish is not at all fishy.
He had also mentioned that the texture of the pink centre should be soft and juicy compared to the flaky exterior. Also, the cut of the fish makes a different. If the fish was sliced along the line (the cut does not show the “white line” fat grain) the texture would be different and less desirable.
** If you tried this dish, do let me know if you have experienced the same issue, else, it might have just been only my plate.**
Gaufre Avec Glace (SGD$13.90)
Waffle with fresh berries, vanilla soft ice cream and a drizzle of home made chocolate sauce.
The waffle was crispy but hard, much like a crisp cookie waffle rather than a pancake-y type of waffle. I like the waffle this way, contrary to CJ but we both love the ice cream which were made by PAUL with real vanilla pods (no essence; you can spot the little vanilla specks!)
Other than that, this is somewhat a common dessert dish.
If you just can’t have enough, bring a little heaven home in a jar to enjoy every day until Christmas really arrives. The PAUL Jam set retails at SGD$28 and are available from 20 November 2014 at PAUL bakeries.
PAUL bakeries also offers a wide selection of artisan breads and desserts besides their main dishes. Just looking at the windows made me feel hungry all over again!
Besides artisan breads and pastries, you can also grab a nice sandwich to go from the bakeries. They have quite a few varieties and usually gets snapped up pretty quickly.
PAUL: Family-owned historical brand
Celebrating 125 years of proud heritage, Paul is currently run by the fifth generation of its family of bakers. Established in 1889 in the city of Croix, near Lille in Northern France, PAUL is passionate and committed to offer authentic and quality French fare, no matter which part of the world they are in.
PAUL Bakeries can be found in the following locations:
Takashimaya Shopping Centre, #03-16/17.
Bakery Tel: 68361914
Restaurant Tel: 68365932
Tanglin Mall, #01-16/17
Bakery Tel: 67363205
Restaurant Tel: 67363257
Ocean Financial Centre Basement 01, #B1-01
Bakery Tel: 66348580
Ocean Financial Centre Level 01
Bakery Tel: 63349068
Restaurant Tel: 66347686
Bakery Tel: 63699082
Restaurant Tel: 63699080
Marina Bay Link Mall, #B2-07
Bakery Tel: 65098339
Restaurant Tel: 65098329
Changi Airport Terminal 3, Departure Transite Lounge Central #02-36
(Opening in December 2014)
Thank you PAUL Singapore for the special invitation to try out some of the new dishes!
*Above meal was kindly sponsored by PAUL Singapore. Please note that although the meal was sponsored, the quality of my review were not compromised.*