The last two times I wanted to try Paul, it was at Mall of the Emirates and there was a waiting list. I am not a big fan of that, I mean, there are plenty of restaurants. While at Deira City Center, I found a table (One of 2 that were empty by the way). They really are busy in almost all their branches, I needed a piece of this!
Before I start anything, I like the french decor and all, but the thing I hate about most Paul Cafe’s, especially the ones in malls, is how close tables are to each other. I seriously dislike sitting at a table with people right beside me. I managed to find a table where there wasn’t anyone that close and it was pretty decent. They need to space it out a little. I like my conversation and food, as private as possible. Even with the setup I had done, there was someone right behind my right shoulder.
After we organized the table ourselves, the waiter came running greeted us and confirmed everything was alright. He handed us the menus.
The menu had quite a good selection of foods and most of the menu is pretty clear in the picture. The waiter had told us that there are two specials for today, the two with pictures on the right of the menu. Those are what we had.
But first, right after ordering the waiter set up the table.
It was a full setting of 2 Knives, 1 fork and 1 Spoon (for the Soups we ordered).
For the table, they brought a basket of assorted Bread, Butter and Oils. The Bread were flavorful but were neither warm or seemed that fresh. Later upon leaving we saw a rack full of Bread Baskets. They stay there for new tables rather than come from the Kitchen.
The first Soup was the Creamy Chicken Mushroom Soup
Brown was not the color I was expecting. The soup was watery, not thick. There were slices of Mushroom and small cubes of Chicken inside. The taste was quite alright and there were some flavors going on, but was not special in any way. It was ordinary Mushroom soup with Chicken.
What was a surprise though, was their Onion Soup.
The very first thought was… That does not look like what I ordered. but then, the top was lifted.
And the soup was inside! The Bread was the bowl holding the soup! Impressive touch! Second thought was, better finish the soup before it eats its way through the bread and have a huge mess!
It was really flavorful, it seemed more like a Sauce for a Dish, but no, it was a really nice soup. Eating the top with the Soup was really nice too. The Soup was thick, creamy, and had plenty of french onions in it with plenty of flavor. I really liked this soup. It was pretty filling as well!
The first Special was the “Duo De Cabillaud Et De Crevettes” In English that is essentially, Grilled Cod Fish Filet and Shrimps.
The first thing I noticed after seeing the dish, is something I usually never see anywhere.. It looks almost exactly like the dish in the picture! That never happens!
The description says:
“Grilled fresh cod fish filet and shrimps, roasted potatoes, sauteed leeks and carrorts, served with creamy sauce”
The serving delivered exactly that and was delicious! The Cod was perfectly grilled and was cooked throughout to the perfect temperature. It was warm and the meat softly pulls away. The skin was on the bottom holding the piece of fish together.
The sauce was fresh Creamy White Sauce with Leeks and Carrots. It complimented the fish perfectly.
On the side, there were 4 Roasted Potatoes. They were soft, yet not too soft. Flavored and seasoned well.
The second Special was the “Filet De Boeuf Grille” In English that is essentially, Grilled Tenderloin Steak.
This one did not look like the picture, and after a bite or two, I could not care. The Menu describes this dish as:
“Grilled USDA beef tenderloin served with pomme neufs, whole beans and carrots with your choice of pepper or mushroom sauce”
Straight to the point, it was delicious! The first thing I wondered was how was my Steak Levitating? It turned out to be a piece of bread underneath.
The Steak (Ordered well done) was perfectly cooked. I may say this often when something is cooked real well, but with steaks, I always have it cooked a little under or a little over. This time, it was spot on! The Steak was soft, juicy, really flavorful and the cut of steak was good too. I would have preferred if the Steak was a little warmer than it was. I haven’t had a good Steak like this in a very long time.
There were whole beans and baby carrots which were lightly seasoned and were fresh.
Instead of the “pomme neufs” french fries, I ordered the Mashed Potatoes. It was lightly seasoned but plain. With all the fancy good food going around, I would expect they could have cut up some greens or something in it. A little salt and it was alright.
The Sauce disappointed. I ordered the Mushroom Sauce (thought it should compliment the Mushroom Soup I had earlier). It was served in a little cup. The flavor was alright (nothing really special) but was stone cold. That Sauce, if warm, poured over the steak would have been great. I used a combination of HP Sauce with a touch of Tabasco and created a yummier sauce for the Steak.
The Service: It was pretty good. The place was open and anyone could enter from anywhere so there was no one to greet and offer a place to sit, so we sat ourselves but once the waiter had come to us, the good service began. The server was polite, always smiling, listened (Something very important) and responded to what I asked or inquired really well. Empty plates were removed quick and after the meal (around the time of the check) asked if we would like any dessert for here or take away. Upon leaving we were greeted and thanked.
The Value: 1 Onion Soup, 1 Chicken Mushroom Soup, 1 Grilled Cod, 1 Grilled Filet, 2 Pepsis and 1 Large Evian Water came to exactly 268 Dhs. I think it is alright in terms of value for the good quality of the food.
The Place: 5 / 10
The Service: 7 / 10
The Food: 7 / 10
Overall: 6.3 / 10
I’d recommend this place. Just keep in mind that most branches are very busy, and seating is very tight. The food might be worth it though.