The wait is finally over, at last â€œPaulâ€ the eagerly awaited French cafÃ© and bakery opened its doors in Jeddah. The French Bakery that was established in 1899 and now has a presence in many countries across Europe, America, Asia, and the Middle East. I have been a fan of it since I experienced it in Dubai many years ago. Having breakfast in â€œPaulâ€ is a quite pleasant experience that is not easily found anywhere else.
I took my wife in the evening to see whether this one can live up to our hopes and expectations. The location is certainly premium, in one of the trendiest part of town in Al- Andalus Dist, on the Western side of Sands Hotel off Tahliah Street. We arrived there driven by curiosity at midnight. It was not exactly Suhoor time, but we are not big on that meal anyway. The place from the outside didnâ€™t look that inviting, because the parking lot was dimly lit. The scene is totally different once you step inside; it is very bright and buzzing with patrons. The majority of customers were ladies, and I guess this kind of setting is more attractive to the female population.
Our waiter welcomed us inside, and we chose a corner table. The place is furnished like typical â€œPaulâ€ cafÃ© with tables and chairs in a traditional European cafÃ©s style. The place has a regal touch, but because it is divided into small sections, it gives rather intimate vibes. The waiters all dressed in white, with white aprons and beret, they could not look more French.
As for the menu, it gets a little confusing when it comes to the names because they are all in French, but thankfully, they description is written in English and they also has Arabic menu, which helps. My wife picked â€œVichyssoise soupâ€ (25 SR) and â€œTarte Brioche Tomatoâ€ (40 SR), while I had â€œ6 Cereals Croqueâ€ sandwich (35 SR), for drinks we had soda which came in cans (6 SR each). Both main came with side salads, and they served us a complementary basket of bread with amentias (butter, chili butter, and olive spread). Everything on the table was marvelous. The food presented well, looked fresh, and tasted great.
The service was fast and gracious. We had a bad experience before in a â€œPaulâ€ restaurant in Dubai, but thankfully this did not happen here. After clearing up our dishes, we asked the waiter for the menu so we can pick some dessert, (it would be a big mistake not to try one!). It would be like visiting Paris and not stopping by the Eiffel Tower. I picked â€œLemon Tarteâ€ (15 SR) and cup of single espresso (12 SR) while the wife had the â€œWhite Lady Sundaeâ€ (30 SR). My tart was excellent and was the coffee, while my wife was not as impressed with her sundae. Over all we had a great light meal in â€œPaulâ€.
Here is the thing; â€œPaulâ€ is the real deal. A genuine cafÃ© in a city filled with wannabes. Whether you want to start your day with a delicious breakfast, a business lunch, a light snack, or even a cup of coffee and a piece of cake with your friends, â€œPaulâ€ should be in your radar. You even can go there to pick up some bread or pastries. They are all on display seducing the customers in the shop, and your big dilemma then would be trying not to eat everything.Read more