Mid-September has finally brought some moderation to Dongguan’s weather, and the occasion was opportune to visit Pauly’s Kitchen and sample the impressive menu of Mediterranean fares. Although the name and location are new, the owner and his staff are well known among the city’s restaurant aficionados. For years, they built a reputation for fine foods under the name “Green Bistro” earning accolades and developing a list of faithful customers. When the time came to change location, Paul, the owner thought that changing the name, although arguably a risky proposition, would nevertheless be a good idea. “The ‘Green’ in the name leads many customers to believe that we catered primarily to a vegan clientele,” he said, half-jokingly.
The space is warm with a well-furnished bar on one side and a long blue leather banquette embracing the whole length of the opposite wall. Here, pieces from French artists with Spanish market scenes offer an explosion of color that serves as a prelude to what diners will find on their plates. Large panes of glass separate the kitchen from the main room allowing us to witness the hustle within.
Appetizers included olive oil poached prawns, white wine mussels and a delicious take on Portuguese cod called Bacala Mantecata, slow-cooked in a milk and garlic sauce, mashed and served on toast. I enjoyed it with a dry Argentinian Sauvignon which complimented it perfectly.
Among the entrees, one may choose the Moroccan lamb tajine, a slow-cooked leg of lamb marinated in 13 different spices and served with couscous, duck confit and mashed potatoes, with meat falling off the bone and the skin caramelized, or beef Bourguignon, with carrots, potatoes and mushrooms cooked in a red wine sauce. All of which were served in large, beautifully presented portions. For such hearty entrees, we were advised to try a bottle of Venta las Vacas, a strong, full-bodied Spanish red.
Pauly’s Kitchen serves great food, of that, there can be no doubt. It also presents an atmosphere that makes customers feel relaxed, a feeling similar to that experienced when eating at home. Pauly’s Kitchen succeeds in combining these two aspects and is something all restaurant owners aspire for. Those who do generally leave their mark in the hearts and minds of their grateful customers.
Address: No. 1018 New World Plaza, Area B, Dongcheng South Road