On the second day of my Dubai trip, my head was full of plans. “Let’s go here, let’s go there, do this, do that” and what not. The first thing I finally decided to do was to begin my day with a breakfast – a French breakfast!
For the pleasure of having a French breakfast and exploring the wonderful Dubai for the first time, I started walking. Observing and capturing the streets of Dubai in my camera, I walked about 2.5 KMs and went straight into City Centre Deira.
Wandering around inside, the smell of fresh baking caught my attention. “Where’s that smell coming from?” I asked myself and my nasty nose led me in the direction of PAUL!
PAUL: A Small Introduction
Established in France back in 1889, PAUL is a family business currently being led by the fifth generation. Serving French food for more than 125 years and now present in 33 countries, PAUL is a well-known name in bakery and cafe world.
PAUL made its way to Dubai in 2011 and has branches spread in locations like Dubai International Airport, The Dubai Mall and City Centre Deira.
Located at the first floor, PAUL, City Centre Deira features pleasant and calm ambiance. The lighting and PAUL’s signature black decor completely separates the cafe from that of the mall.
I could see that almost all tables were already occupied by other customers who were sipping coffee or fresh juice and enjoying their breakfast while chit chatting with their partners.
I stood there at the entrance for a moment. The aroma of fresh bakery products being made nearby made me pause myself and take a deep breath to sniff-in the smell as much as I could. (I just love the smell of baking, by the way.)
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Staff and Service
Just as I was pleasuring myself with the smell of baking, my attention was taken over a lady saying “Good morning, sir. Welcome to PAUL!” and I was led to a table right in the center.
After observing the ambiance and surrounding, I took the menu in my hand, which is when my attendant Allan introduced himself.
Being my first time with French menu, especially with names of dishes written in French, I asked Allan for help. After introducing myself as a blogger and telling him that I need to know more about PAUL, French food and the place itself, Allan showed interest in me, making sure I had the best time at PAUL.
With a smiling face, Allan explained to me how to pronounce names of those dishes (which I forgot right after some time). He also helped me with my order.
After placing my order, I had a conversation with Allan, who told me a brief history of PAUL. We also talked about French traditions and how other regular customers ordered their food. I could pen-down our whole discussion here but this is not the right article for doing so.
I also observed other staff members serving customers and could easily notice their hospitality and how well-trained they were.
I ordered ‘Le Petit Déjeuner – Parisien’ with ‘Corbeille de Viennoiserie.’ Petit Déjeuner means ‘breakfast’ in French, by the way. The dish served included ‘Pain aux raisins’ or raisin bread. Also served were baguettes with strawberry jam and butter.
I thought I never liked the strawberry flavor but the jam served with baguettes was plain awesome and helped me change my mind towards giving the strawberry flavor a try again in future.
Pain aux raisins were freshly baked, soft and left a sultry feeling in my mouth with the very first bite. I thought I could eat these raisin bread all day!
The freshness, quality, and taste of the breakfast served to me was no less than perfect to me.
My conversation with Allan continued as I slowly enjoyed my breakfast and coffee. He was generous (and interested) enough to take out time from the busy schedule of the cafe.
As I finished up my breakfast, a lady with a gorgeous smile and beautiful eyes came over my table.
Some More Food!
The beautiful lady was Urmila – the floor supervisor. Urmila was happy to see me taking interest in PAUL and their food. We talked about different topics related to food, traditions, and my blogging career.
Knowing I was a foodie, Urmila presented me with some more food. I don’t remember all those items I consumed with immense pleasure but I do remember the taste. Items offered to me included Mini Croissants Zaatar (dried herbs). What lovely little thing!
As I was enjoying items offered to me, I and Urmila spoke about Arabic, Nepalese, Indian and other cuisines. It was soon going to be a busy period for the staff as the lunch time was to begin soon. As Urmila got busy with her work, Allan appeared again, this time with a fresh piece of cake.
The Black Forest cake with strawberry was surprisingly more delicious than any other cake I ever had. I couldn’t thank Allan enough for offering me this large piece of cake – even when my stomach was filled with the pleasure of some amazing food already.
PAUL, City Centre Deira, Dubai: Summing Up
It was a pleasurable experience at PAUL, City Centre Deira overall. From a lovely ambiance to enthusiastic staff working with pride, commendable freshness, quality, and taste of everything I was presented with, my visit to PAUL, City Centre Deira, Dubai was filled with joy (and a lot of food).
I did find prices at PAUL a little high but I guess the food was worth the price. If I didn’t have to worry about my stomach, I could have tried everything they had on the menu.
If you have never been to PAUL before, I do recommend you to visit them and share your experience with me.
Are you a foodie? Do share your food stories/reviews/disasters with me!