We have been going to Yeouido Park for some time now and every time I get off the bus I see Paul. I instantly recognized it as the chain of bakeries we have back home but surely we couldn’t have one in Korea could we? Alas it turns out we do. This slice of Paris is nestled under the Marriot Executive Apartments Building in the south western corner of the park.
It was Saturday lunchtime so we had to wait 30 minutes for a table (not uncommon in Seoul) but the gastronomic delights served here were well worth the wait. After we ordered we were brought some complimentary bread which tasted exactly as French bread should, crisp on the outside with a soft chewy inside (Paris Baguette you could learn so much from this place). The butter was rich and creamy (oh how I love French butter ) we were hungry so we asked for more bread and butter and it only cost an extra 700 won!
Our mains arrived, I opted for the poached eggs on top of bacon & potato rosti with a citrus hollandaise sauce and every bite was pure bliss. The eggs were smooth and silky while the bacon was crisp and sweet. The rosti was cooked to perfection and all this richness was balanced with a fresh side salad dressed with sharp vinaigrette. It was an ideal Saturday brunch.
I didn’t try any of my companions food as I don’t like Salmon (I’m sure this is why my boyfriend does order salmon a lot because he knows I don’t like it and therefore will not eat his food.) He had a Croque saumon poireaux which looked delicious. This toasted sandwich came as a beautiful little square, slathered with melted emmental cheese. He said the flakes of salmon were cooked to perfection and the portion was generous. He did add that it could have been improved with the addition of capers.
Our other friend had a baguette filled with slice of fresh smoked salmon which he said was divine. Again I didn’t try this one but it looked very nice (apart from the salmon). They had one with chicken that I was itching to try, not wanting to appear too greedy I bought it to take home (for research purposes only of course). The Chicken baguette was pure heaven. 9,000 won might seem a lot for a sandwich but it’s worth every penny (I’ve paid 5- 6,000 for sandwiches from coffee shops which weren’t a quarter as good). It looked deceptively simple with just grilled chicken lettuce and tomato, I was concerned it would be dry but boy was I surprised. I don’t know what they did to that chicken but it was absolutely amazing, it had this irresistible taste which I just couldn’t put my finger on (I’ll be sure to check next time I go back). This chicken was so juicy, and paired with the tomato it moistened the baguette perfectly leaving it without the need for mayo or dressing.
On to the sweets, everyone claimed they were full so we decided not to stay for dessert but after admiring the patisserie case throughout my meal there was no way I was leaving without a chocolate éclair. Éclairs are my absolute all-time favourite cake and this one was no disappointment. Filled with sweet and creamy chocolate custard and topped with rich chocolate sauce it was good but 7,000 good I’m not quite sure. The highlight of my meal was the fact they had samples of their chocolate tart and Citron tart. I’m usually a chocolate girl but the taste of the lemon was pure ecstasy, it was light, sweet and sharp all at the same time. The pastry was a dream, crumbly, buttery and divine, (I ate 5 pieces, I think the waitress was just about ready to charge me for a whole one). The other desserts all looked equally as good but sadly my wallet could not stretch as far as my belly. All patisserie items including desserts, croissants and baguettes are available to take away.
Paul is located inside the Marriott Executive Apartments 28-3 Yeouido Dong the nearest subway stop is Yeoido Line 5 Exit 2. For more information call them on 02-2070-3000 or check out their website. www.paul-international.com/kr/splash-country/.