Sunday, May 30, 2010

revisited/french: i strongly recommend PAUL

at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, A9
No. 9, Song Shou Road, 2FL
(02) 2722-0700


hours: 11 AM to 9:30 PM; bakery opens at 9 AM


Kid friendliness: high chairs available at this location

Visit reviewed: 5/20/2010
Previous review: 10/7/2008

Lately, I've been on a Paul streak... not for their delicious but pricey raspberry tarts and flaky napoleons, or their oversized macarons or assortments of breads, but for their extended brunch menu that includes lighter fare like crepes, quiches and sandwiches. (And I'm happy to report that the sandwiches are their full size again after spotting them having shrunk temporarily in 2008).

The sets include a soup, salad and drink (coffee or tea) for about NT$300-400. At first glance, the crepes look like not a lot, but the meal is quite satisfying. My only complaint is that 1- for ice tea options, they only have bottled options of jasmine and lychee, and 2- for the coffee, if you want refills, you have to pay for a new cup.

First comes a bowl of soup- the past few times I've visited it was a hot vegetable soup with chunks of veggies and pasta- the right blend of acidic and sweet.

My favorites from their lunch menu are the tuna sandwich or the mushroom cheese crepe (NT$385 for the set) or if you want something sweet, the chocolate crepe. The crepe is perfectly thin and moist, stuffed with mushrooms and gooey emmental cheese which tastes like a fancy swiss cheese. I eat it together with the sunny side egg and then alternate between the roasted tomato and salad.

When Paul first opened, everyone wondered how long they would last with their pricey baked goods with ingredients shipped from France, with so many bakeries in town. I think they were smart to offer light French cafe fare to keep people coming back, which is a rarer find in town among all the Chinese, Italian and Japanese eateries. Paul's second Taiwan location at Mitsukoshi opened up only last year and is always filled with afternoon shoppers, even on a weekday. My recent visit to the Paul on Ren Ai had a 10-20 minute wait for a table at weekday lunchtime.

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No. 107, Ren-ai Road, Sec. 4,


Viv said...

I always walk past this place when I shop at Mitsukoshi but never really wanted to try as I thought it was just over-priced desserts/bread. Good to see their savoury options and might try next time I go back to TW ;) Thanks for sharing!

Baby Madison said...

oh my!!!! looks soooooo yummy! let's grab lunch here next time!

durbanbay said...

The food there is pretty good (well the last time I ate there which is a while ago now) but to be honest, it is a little pricey, especially their desserts. We did try them but thought they were not really worth the price (although they were delicious). Good location though and easy to get too.

Kathy said...

Hey, this is my first comment! Your site has been my restaurant brainstorm inspiration for a few months now!

Thanks for this review of the new Paul. I didn't realize it was there until recently! I almost had a heart attack when the Ren Ai branch opened a couple of years back. That's how much I love Paul. But - and I hate to sound like an obnoxious traveler when I say this - I studied abroad in France for a year and I don't feel like Taipei Paul compares at all to the real Paul. Even if the ingredients are shipped over.

It's annoying. That's why I don't go that often, even though I live 5 minutes away by foot. Paul in Shanghai isn't that great either :(

Having said that, I haven't tried their cafe menu. It sounds pricey but I'll definitely head to the Mitsukoshi location and give it a go.

Have you been to any French Paul's? If you have, how do you think it compares?

joanh said...

vivienne: their savory options are definitely worth a try! the chocolate crepe is good too!

baby madison: ok!

durbanbay: the desserts are definitely pricey, but consistently good and as you mentioned great locations

jaded tourist: thanks so much for commenting! i've never been to France so I don't know how it compares. but I've been to a lot of French cafes in LA, and I think Paul offers up some competitive fare! So I'm glad to have it as an option here in Taipei

Anonymous said...

I love paul!!! I went there when I was back in Taiwan visiting. Two of my other favorite: the pudding pie and the strawberry tart. YUM.

Anonymous said...

Paul cakes /breads are totally low quality and overpriced. Nothing is produced in Taiwan .The bread is made and half bake then frozen in France. They send it to Taiwan and just finish the baking job there. Cakes are all made and frozen in France, they just unfrozen and do the decorations in Taiwan

It is a ‘fast food’ bakery and nothing else! When I see all these people enjoying eating this crap foods and thinking this is high class I ROLF!