Alvin Thomas goes Italian at Paul and is made an offer he can’t refuse; a dinner the Godfather would kill for.
It’s 7pm on a balmy Thursday evening and the roads are packed with commuters going home. After spending nearly an hour in traffic, Y’s online editor Nishad and I head for the Paul restaurant; it exudes quality and is always buzzing. Perfect, then, after a hectic day of work.
The menu is well laid out, and compiled mostly in French. But, there’s a description of each item with each dish so you will not be flummoxed by all the fancy names.
I opt for a well-done portion of filet boeuf grill, and a glass of orange and carrot juice while Nishad opts for the pasta tagliatelle chicken and glass of red berry mint juice.
Nishad’s pasta is the first to arrive, and he quickly declares it one of the best he has ever had. After sneaking a few bites from his plate, I concur.
With its creamy texture and its yummy cheesy flavouring, the pasta tagliatelle is quite delectable. The tagliatelle – which is a long, ribboned pasta, generally a shade thinner than fettuccine – is well steamed, and retains its consistency until the last bite. I cannot fault it at all.
Next to arrive (after 30 minutes) is the filet boeuf grill. Surprisingly, the waitress apologises profusely for taking time for preparing the dish but I assure her that it’s perfectly alright, and that I know slow-cooked well-done beef usually takes up to 20 minutes to prepare.
The steak is accompanied by steamed vegetables like baby carrots and broccoli. Now, I usually don’t like raw vegetables, but in a weird turn of events, I find myself digging into the baby carrots. The veggies are fresh, and steamed just right.
The well-done beef is juicy (thankfully), yet firm with precise flavouring. It doesn’t sit on my plate for too long.
I wash it down with my glass of orange and carrot juice, which isn’t too tangy, nor sweet. After slurping down his red berry mint juice, Nishad declares his drink “superb”.
Finally, we order strawberry and passion-fruit cheesecakes. They are pre-prepared but both are first-rate. The passion-fruit cheesecake (the one I choose), with just the right serving of chocolate sauce and passion-fruit slices offers a delightful fusion of flavours. The base is soft yet sturdy enough to give the cheesecake its structure.
My fork slides down the walls of the cake smoothly, thereby signalling fresh cheese. Nishad delves into his strawberry cheesecake and in less than five minutes, both of us are done.
In all, we are two very happy and replete men and vow to return. And why not? This is the finest dining experience I have had in a really long time.
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PAUL Info Box
- Muscat Grand Mall, Baushar, Muscat
- Opening Hours: 10am to 11pm
- Contact: +968 2200 9583
- Dinner for two: RO33.300
- 9/10 Service
- 8/10 Food
- 8/10 Ambience
Expensive food, but well worth the money