I am dessert lover and an even more avid pastry lover…but I only just recently learnt of the internationally renown patisserie Paul. I’m sure my lovely readers from the US or UK and those who have travelled to France will have heard or visited a Paul around them ;)
But for those like me, Paul Maison de Qualite is a family owned and run patisserie with their first store opening in 1889 in the north of France. It has now been passed down to the fourth generation and also expanded internationally with many stores in the UK, US, Japan but the closest to me would be their stores in Taiwan ;) Hope they come to Melbourne soon!
There are two Paul patisseries in Taipei, their flagship store and the more recent one located on the 2nd floor of the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store. Chi Yao said it’s basically impossible to get a table without booking at the flagship store, and even at this Paul, the waitress immediately asked if we had a booking and that they had a 2 hour dining time limit. That kind of put me off a little…just because, I think patisseries and cafes should be a place for people to relax with a cup of coffee and spend time chatting with friends :( but I guess they are too famous and have other guests to serve~
Once we told the waitress, we understood and were happy to leave within 2 hours, she led us to a nice table in the middle of the patisserie, and surprisingly spacious, they definitely wanted to create a Parisian feel :) It was also Cindy’s first time going to Paul, so we were both busy studying the menu and deciding what we should have ~ I was really impressed with the variety of pastries they had. Ranging from loaves of bread, to croissants, to tarte tartin and how could I forget macarons ~
It was hard to choose, I was being greedy and wanted everything :P in the end we decided, to get a savoury dish and an afternoon tea set to share.
For the savoury we ordered a Salmon Quiche, which came as a lunch set – including a salad on the side, soup of the day and a drink of your choice. The pastry of the quiche was so puffy and delicious lol I could imagine all the butter used to make it :P but that’s why it tasted so good! The filling was a rich combination of salmon, spinach, eggs and cream :) thank gosh we were sharing ~
Soup of the day was minestrone, it had a piece of cheesy bread floating on top, it was nice but it wasn’t very hot when it got to our table. It was like luke warm which I don’t really soups like that. Overall, I think the savoury dishes at Paul are good, but not really spectacular compared to their sweets :D
The afternoon tea set for two, it an absolute bargain for $720TWD($23AUD) ! We got a savoury dish, 2 drinks of our choice from the menu (not all drinks were included, some drinks incurred an additional fee), 2 desserts of our choice, 2 macarons, a chocolate croissant and an escargot raisin.
They called it canapes but its basically four little pieces of baguette with a piece of ham and tiny piece of pickle. I know Paul is well known for their bread, but I didn’t really like this…the bread was too chewy :(
Chi Yao had visited before and said we had to try the mille feuille, while Cindy and I both agreed on the blackberry tart ~
The mille feuille at Paul’s was more like our vanilla slice in Australia, where there’s vanilla custard between two pieces of puff pastry, while other mille feuille’s I’ve had in French patisseries tend to have more layers ~ I totally agree with Chi Yao though, this is an AMAZING piece of mille feuille! The puff pastry wasn’t too hard, it basically melts in your mouth, and it’s not just vanilla custard, they’ve put fresh strawberries in it, to cut some of the sweetness ~ perfect for those who think custards too sweet ;) Highly recommend it to everyone who has a Paul near them!
This blackberry tart is designed for those who don’t like ‘sweet’ pastries, because it had a more tangy and refreshing taste ~ The pastry case was so thin it was like it wasn’t even there hehe :)
There were two macarons included in our set, a lemon and coffee macaron. Although they are advertised that they are made with Swarovski elements (not sure how), they were a little disappointing…the shells were too soft and I couldn’t really tell it was a coffee flavoured macaron until the waitress told me ~
Now to drinks :)
Cindy ordered a hot cappuccino :) which she said she liked, but still missed the coffee in Melbourne ~
Chi Yao’s Iced Hazelnut Cappuccino ~ She seemed to enjoy it and said there was a strong hazelnut tone throughout the drink ~ Unfortunately, I was too busy taking photos of their drinks and forgot to take a photo of my Iced Mocha :( doesn’t matter, it basically looks the same but it was more like a really strong cup of iced chocolate, than a mocha ~ Please bare in mind, we paid an extra $40TWD ($1.3AUD) each t0 change our drinks to these ones :)
There’s still so much more I’d like to try! Just look ~
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Paul’s and will definitely come back for their mille feuilles and other pastries~ But it’s still a little sad how the bill is automatically sent to your table when your two hours is up and the waitress tells you nicely to leave…
Has this happened to you before? Do you mind if there’s a time limit? Would love to hear your thoughts :)
Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, A9
No. 9, Song Shou Road, 2FL