Fellow carboholics rejoice. PAUL, a french bakery, patisserie and restaurant is opening in Melrose Arch on Thursday, 2 March 2017.
I’m of the opinion that there can never be too many bakeries in this world, and luckily, there seem to be many people who agree with me. PAUL, which has over 670 outlets across the globe, is finally joining the bakery line up in South Africa. We are incredibly lucky to have so many fantastic bakeries here, and while many may scoff at the idea of yet another international brand opening its doors, I have no issue with it, if it means I don’t have to buy a plane ticket to experience baked deliciousness.
You can scroll through the pictures below by clicking on the arrow in the middle right of the picture.
I visited @paulbakerysa last night to get a preview of what they will be selling when their doors open on Thursday. There is pretty much any French pastry you can think of, freshly baked breads, and some of the best macarons I have ever tasted. The restaurant seats 180 people, where they served sarmies and salads and other café foods, or you can opt for a quick takeaway from their pastry cabinet.
I was invited to the media launch of this restaurant, where Richard Blades, a master baker, gave us a lesson in making bread. I learned to knead and fold free form loaves, which were then shoved into the oven with a giant wooden paddle. It was so much fun, and I learnt a thing or three about making bread. You can watch a video of the class on the PAUL South Africa Facebook Page (Video Link).
The pastry cabinet at PAUL is filled with an array of delectable French goodies like croissants, eclairs, macarons, fruit tarts, palmiers, pain au chocolat and 100 more things with unpronounceable French names.
The macarons are undoubtedly, the best I have ever had – the raspberry one in particular – made me swoon. The eclairs were light and fluffy and the pastry creme they were filled with was sweet, creamy, and downright delicious. The canelé was a bit of a disappointment, I’ve had much nicer ones from an artisan bakery in Linden. I brought my sister a Lemon Meringue tart to try (she is the queen of lemon meringue) and she loved it. (heart eyes emoticon loved it)
Not only does PAUL Bakery and Restaurant in Melrose Arch satisfy your sweet tooth, they also have an 180 seater restaurant which offers typical café fare like sandwiches, salads, soups and other meals. The restaurant has glass windows into the kitchen, where you can watch the incredibly talented bakers churn out loaves of fresh bread.
Breakfast dishes include filled croissants, omelettes, french toast, eggs benedict, toasted sarmies and filled crepes.
The Lunch and Dinner menu is filled with things like french onion soup, freshly made salads, savoury pancakes, loads of sandwiches, steak, confit duck, coq au vin, fish and seafood, burgers, potato gratin and pasta dishes.
The restaurant prices are reasonable, on par with most places in SA, with most meals costing less than R100.
PAUL Bakery and Restaurant is one of the restaurants on my #2017ChowList, a list of all the places I want to try in Joburg in 2017. You can view the list here.
The operating hours for PAUL South Africa in Melrose Arch are from 7AM to 10PM.
You can find them on the corner of The High Street & Crescent Drive in Melrose Arch in Johannesburg.
They offer both a takeaway and a sit-down service.
PAUL is not Halaal in South Africa (because ham and wine are très French.) This means, yes, there is bacon and booze on the menu.
PAUL South Africa Prices*
Croissants – R22 each
Giant Macarons – R45 each
Lemon Meringue Tart – R39 each
Palmiers – R28 each
A box of 12 mini macarons – R199
Chocolate Eclair – R30
Pain au chocolat – R26
Classic French Toast – R58
Eggs Benedict – R74
French Onion Soup – R68
Croque Monsieur – R84
Chicken Salad – R84
Beef Burger with Wedges – R89
Coq au vin – R142
Cappucino – R25
PAUL hot chocolate – R32
Freshly squeezed fruit juice – R37
Macaron frappé – R48
Soft drinks – R23
Castle Lite – R25
Durbanville Hills Sauvignon Blanc – R161 bottle/R47 carafe
*Prices are subject to change.
Disclaimer: I was hosted by PAUL for a media baking experience. They gave me enough baked goods to start my own bakery. Thank goodness because I think the queues are going to be crazy. I was not paid for this post. The professional looking pics were provided by PAUL. Mine are the yellowy ones from Instagram.