Battle of the Bakeries Part I: Paul Bakery, Takashimaya / Ngee Ann City Singapore

Needing to reward myself after gym ON A WEEKEND!!, I wanted to takeaway but Paul was relatively empty–no queue!–so I took a seat. The decor: The place was a bit cramp and despite being a new joint, it already looked rundown. There are a few French touches such as the chandeliers and olive green chairs but overall, not much of aesthetics.

The menu states that you can get a basket of bread at a relatively inexpensive price: Patissier’s basket($8.90), includes 1 crossant, 1 pain au chocolat, 1 briochette, 1/2 plain flute with jam and butter. Baker’s basket ($7.90) has 1/3 sesame flute, 1/3 plain flute, slice of country bread, 6 cereal bread with jam and butter.

There is als a few all-day breakfast sets which include a drink (coffee/tea/hot chocolate) and a bread starting from $6.80 to $10.50.

I need to repeat myself: I JUST FINISHED GYM, naturally I shouldn’t eat so much carbs. So I went for sweet things and tarts. Yup, my priorities are in the right place.

The strawberry tart ($6.40) is very simple: just fresh strawberries, french cream/custard and the base crust. And simplicity works. The strawberries, which were the best part of the tart, were fresh and you can taste the slight tinge of sourness. The french cream was light and accompanied the strawberries well. The crust was disappointing, neither doughy or crisp, giving a half-baked or over-baked impression.

I wanted a chocolate eclair but the sweet server dished out the Chocolate Millefeuille ($6.40), saying, “I’m very sorry, but we ran out of chocolate eclair. Would you like to try the millefeuille?” WOW, best sales tactics. Waving it in front of my face – how could I say no?

Chocolate millefeuille is layers of crispy pastry sandwiching a thick layer of milk chocolate. It was humongous. Best for sharing – but I just finished gym, don’t judge!!! Tastewise, it was ok, not overly sweet. But texture-wise, I expected it to be crispy but the pastry was lau hong (lose air), limp.

The best hot chocolate I had in my life was at Paul in France. I called all my ah beng trainees to play truant for the International Mafia Conference and come join me. For a cup of hot chocolate, we were beaten to an inch of our lives for skipping class. But it was worth it, pure molten chocolate. Gangsta’ life is difficult, yo’ all. So I had to order the hot chocolate ($6.50). Suffice to say, it won’t tempt me into playing truancy. It was alright, satisfactory but it wasn’t awesome, not hot enough, not chocolatey enough.

Service: Reading reviews, people complain about the service a lot. (Singaporeans complain too much.) But when I was there, I thought the service was ok. The Chinese(?) girl who served me the millefeuille was all smiles. Granted I had to ask for iced water 3 times before I got it and by that time I was already leaving, I could tell that they were busy with other things. More service staff is needed.

From the service to decor and food, everything was passable but there isn’t an effort to make it pass with flying colors. To be objective, everything was so-so but it was nowhere near bad or excellent for that matter. Paul in France is equivalent to McDonald’s, can be found everywhere and the food is relatively cheap. I paid a total of $22.70 and I thought, this is not McDonald’s price. It is definitely over-priced. In the Battle of the Bakeries, Paul is my least favorite. I’d rather walk a few steps to Maison Kayser (watch out for the entry on Wednesday).

Paul Bakery
391 Orchard Rd
#03-16/17 Ngee Ann City
Singapore 238872
T: 6836 5932

Sun–Thu: 8.30am – 10pm
Fri–Sat: 8.30am – 11pm
Mon–Sun: 10am – 11pm

Rating: 3.099/5 stars

Also see: Battle of the Bakeries Part II: Maison Kayser and Part III: Baker & Cook.


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