When I first returned from Paris, an influencer I work with told me that the famed French boulangerie Paul Bakery will open in Singapore by Christmas. With a cocked brow, I gave my best ‘do you think I’m an idiot’ look figuring she was taking me for a ride so imagine my surprise when this was confirmed by multiple other sources and eventually, having recovered from jetlagged, I googled in search for a trustworthy source and found one, I did, via The Straits Times.
According to the article, Paul Bakery will “occupy the shop space which was previously Coffee Club’s on the third floor of the mall next to Books Kinokuniya”
So why the fuss? Let me tell you.
If you’ve ever been in transit at the Dubaiairport, you’ll know Paul. I speak of Paul like we know each other intimately. In truth, Paul did see me through tough times – those long dark hours of transit between Singapore and Egypt in 2010 and the recent transit between Singapore and London, Paul’s been there for me, providing me the right amount of nourishment and sugar rush to take me through those dark hours. In Paris, before I began my marathon of an exploration at Musee de Lourve, Paul was there to help kick start my day. So you see, Paul and I, we go some way back. [p.s. check out the line at the counter in Dubai]
Enough of the dramatics, I chuckle at whatever possessed me but here’s a gist of the origins leading to the brand that is Paul Bakery. Established in 1889 through humble origins on Rue de la Mackellerie Croix, Charlemagene Mayot started a small bakery with his wife which was eventually succeeded and named Paul when generations later the family took over a bakery belonging to the family Paul and retained the name. Interested in the history of Paul? Click through.
So what are the items that have pulled me through the darkest hours? Here’s the rundown.
Their cuppa is a life-saver, tested and proven – nothing of the weak, acidic sort of brew that many of us may have encountered at other establishments. Not the best, but definitely palatable.
I’ve heard their chocolat chaud, that’s hot chocolate for you, is a miracle in a mug but I’ve never had the good fortune of placing that molten liquid on my lips, not less my tongue. Perhaps this Christmas I’d warm up to a mug of that on this red dot of ours.
You can’t leave Paul without a pastry nor a bread – be it a loaf or in the form of a sandwich, you just can’t. If the counter does not leave you drooling, you must be a fool. To kick start our day long exploration at Musee de Lourve, the lot of us went crazy at the Paul counter and emerged triumphant with the following pastries: Pizza Royale, Quiche Lorraine, Le Grille aux Pommes and the Le Pain au Chocolat.
Paul‘s La Quiche Lorraine is not the best I’ve tasted but hey given the other pseudo-quiches I’ve had, I’m not complaining. I definitely did wish for it to be served a spot warmer than lukewarm from having sat at the counter though.
The Pizza Royale did hit the spot with me, all that savoury goodness from fresh tomatoes, ham, enmental, enhanced with olive oil, one sound – Mmmmmmmmmm… My toes were definitely curling from the first bite. Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that take you on a gastronomic journey.
The Le Grille aux Pommes is another stunning winner. Coated with apricot glaze, this pastry was the perfect combination of crisp coat and tender, warm, fresh apples at the centre. Perfection.
The chocolate pastry rounded off our affair with Paul for the day. Crisp exterior, molten centre, sweet chocolate with a hint of bitter.. no better way to start our day at the Musee de Lourve I’d say.
So till Christmas, I’ll be dreaming of you Paul.