Paul Bakery has just opened its doors in South Africa for the first time and just like it’s stores worldwide it guarantees you’ll never say “No sorry I’m Banting” again. Paul is about one thing, and one thing only, authentic, fresh and all round ‘get in my face’ pastries and breads.

I’ve had the pleasure of eating at Paul a couple times in my travels and whether it’s in Asia or Europe there are two constants: the staff are always extremely friendly and helpful and the baked goods are always fresh, I can officially confirm that the same is true of the Melrose Arch store.

Angie and I stopped in at Paul for a quick breakfast and catchup, I haven’t really seen her sans babies since she had Rex so it was so rad to sit down and chat about life and make plans for the future. Paul was FLIPPING busy, we chose Monday because we thought it would be empty on a Monday morning, WRONG! It was packed, and there was a line to get a table, so if you’re planning on heading through I’d recommend booking or going early.

The decor of the store all centres around the huge and inviting pastry counter and the kitchen, where you can watch pastry chefs hard at work, it’s probably one of my favourite things about the store, half the time I just stood watching them ice and fill chocolate eclairs.

In hindsight, we should have been a little more adventurous with our meal choices to show you the full might of Paul but we both felt like something simple so Angie went for a Strawberry Yoghurt, Seed and Granola dish (R72), the Granola is made in-house and the yoghurt is made specially for Paul so it’s flavour is really rich and creamy.  I had a fat helping of the Salmon Paillason (R95) which is thick potato pancake but closer to what we would call a hash brown I guess. Mine was really tasty but my ‘pancake’ could have been a little crispier so just be sure to ask your waiter to ask the chef to leave crisp it up.

Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly eat enough, okay I thought that but Angie is ALWAYS keen for cake, we managed to squeeze in a slice of Chocolate Tart, some Apple Crumble and a salted pretzel. The pretzel was by far my favourite and reminded me of walking around Istanbul in the freezing cold eating pretzels and staring up at Hagia Sophie. I think Paul is defiantly my new stop for fresh bread and baked goods but I may wait for the craze to die down a bit before I go back for a sit down so I can eat 500 slices of cake in peace!

P.S. Thanks for the pic Angie!

If you’re looking for Paul Bakery it’s where Europa used to be, right next to Roast Cafe and Jamies Italian.

Address: Corner High Street and Crescent Drive, Melrose Arch, Sandton, Johannesburg.