When you first eat at Paulus, the built up hype is so overwhelming that even a great meal can fail to meet expectations and you leave conflicted between the evident quality of what is served and the crushing disappointment that your food world hasn't really turned upside down (or even had a small wobble). A revisit to Paulus however pays significant dividends, for one can then enjoy the meal on its own terms, and it is highly recommended. Friends insisted we should give Paulus Restaurant a second chance, after they read review of our first visit.
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There's been significant improvements in the tasting menu that at the end it resulted in us confirming this was a very good meal indeed. The food was so much better and even more filling.
The meal began with three varieties of starters. Deep fried fish-filled ravioli for our friend Paul, a sizeable fish raviola for my wife and a return to a plate of Fish Soup Cioppino, a medley of sustainable fish and shell fish, infused with seafood bouillabaisse. I tried this on my first visit and left it there as it was too salty. This time round the quality of the soup was so much better and pleasing to the palate. All three starters were met with a favourable vote. They were an absolute triumph of a start that played well on textures and tastes.
The oven baked Wreckfish and one Corb to share, seemed to give so much more - or perhaps we were in a better place to accept it, this time thrilled by the previous starters. Following that we ordered 2 desserts. One Crêpe Suzette served with vanilla ice cream for our friend and 3 scopes of chocolate ice cream for me. In some ways, finishing with chocolate seems oddly conventional, but is so very good that I was pleased I did and it really does seal the deal on ensuring you're more than full up when you leave.
The menu, of course, is always going to change because of the seasons, but this menu seemed a better and smarter menu than before. It was said that the PR strap-line for Paulus when it opened was to bill it as 'one to watch', but the hype overtook the food as the story. Only eating there a second time can one leave the hype behind, and our second visit showed it is possible. Now, we do believe that Paulus really is one to watch; this time round it was fabulous.
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