French pastries are loved all around the world – and you can find the original in Manila as well. Paul Boulangerie, founded 1889 in the city of Croix in Northern France, has outlets in Manila, serving great pastries, bread and meals in a number of outlets of the bakery/cafe/restaurant. I’m a regular at the SM Aura location – find out why in my review!
The first thing you will see at the Paul store is the glass vitrine with mouthwatering pastries and breads. From French favorites like croissants and chocolate croissants to eclairs and macarons, you have a lot of tasty treats to choose from. You’ll also find french bread, from classic baguettes to darker varieties. They are baked fresh on site, with ingredients flown in all the way from France every day! That explains the authentic taste – and the high prices! I love the breads with cold cuts or the croissants for a lazy weekend breakfast in bed and regularly pick them up to take home. They are well worth their price to me, compared to the squishy loafs of bread you find at local grocery stores!
And while many cafes offer full menus for lunch or dinner, few do them as well as Paul. Understandably, bread-based meals like the sandwiches are a big part of the menu. Your meal starts with warm baguette, butter and jam – it’s so good, I have to watch myself not to fill up on that already. And the Croque Monsieur is one of my favorite dishes, so simple, yet perfectly done and so tasty! Even the Paul Burger – something I never thought I’d see at a French restaurant – is very good, with a high quality meat patty on top of the perfect bun! But the dish I order most often is the Beef Bourguignon: tender chunks of beef, potatoes and carrots in a thick and tasty sauce, served with (yet more) crunchy bread! It comes with a fresh side salad for a well rounded and delicious meal.
While a bakery in Europe or a coffee shop in the US might be a place for a basic snack, Paul offers much more upscale dining than you’d expect: The service is friendly and polite. The dining room is quite formal, with classy, padded (almost too formal) chairs and big tables. The dishes are well crafted and the take-home pastries or dessert are hard to pass on! All of those things make us go back time and again – and I recommend you give it a try, too!