Published on March 25th, 2016 | by Gavin0
Le Restaurant de Paul, Tower 42
Summary: A worthy restaurant offering from one of Europe's most recognisable bakeries
You’re probably most familiar with Paul from their chain of boutique bakeries strategically posted all over London and many of Europe’s biggest cities. However you might not know that they’ve branched out from breads and pastries with Paul branded restaurants in Covent Garden and in the iconic Tower 42 building, which is where this review is hosted.
Unfortunately the views from the skyscraper formerly known as the NatWest Tower aren’t THAT mind-blowing, thanks largely to the fact that the restaurant is located on the ground floor. But don’t let that put you off; Le Restaurant de Paul is still pleasant enough, even if the atmosphere feels slightly corporate: nothing is out of place, and everything from the furnishing to the menu selections have been deliberated long and hard by the powers that be.
For a Friday night, the restaurant is eerily quiet, so we have the full attention of the friendly staff. To begin, naturally we order some of Paul’s freshly baked bread, and naturally, it’s delicious. I hold back from devouring it all though because it makes for the perfect accompaniment to my Soupe de Poisson (£6.95) that soon follows. As far as fish soup goes, this is by far the most potent I’ve ever sipped- even with a slightly blocked nose, the smells of the sea dominate my nostrils. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as a lover of soup and all things shellfish, I was in my element, although admittedly, less devout fans may struggle.
We continue the seafood theme with the pan seared scallops (£9.95). Unfortunately though, they weren’t properly seared, and lacked the character that our other starter exhumed in abundance.
All was soon forgiven though by the excellent Bavette Steak (£15.95) for mains. 200g, medium rare, and a gorgeous claret middle, the meat digests effortlessly- this is the must try dish of the menu. I swapped the accompanying frites for the creamy potato gratin, which I would highly recommend for added indulgence, especially if you don’t mind an extra kick of garlic.
We decide to give the seafood another chance with the Colombo de Cabillaud (£16.95) cod and prawn based curry, and it more than made up for the previous disappointment. The presentation was as immaculate as the flavour; the beautifully seared cod guarded by three prawn soldiers swimming in a mustard yellow moat. A simple dish executed skilfully.
Dessert proved to be the hardest decision of the evening with so many classics to choose from including Crème Brulee and Apple Crumble. And with over 100 years baking experience, how could I resist Paul’s Profiteroles (£5.95)? The experience told, as these were fresh, creamy and well worth the food coma.
As far as bakery-cum-restaurants go, Paul isn’t a bad effort. However this is the ultra-competitive surroundings of The Square Mile where only the fittest survive. Undeniably the ambience and service is respectable, but for me, the jury is still out on whether the food is distinctive enough for Le Restaurant de Paul to keep diners returning again and again.
Le Restaurant de Paul, Tower 42 Ground Floor, 25 Old Broad St, EC2N 1HQShare This Post