G/F 65 Wyndham Street, Central.
Tel: 2537 5702
The vibe: downright Gallic. The bar is a temple to both the anis-based French drink pastis and the country's advertising industry. Everywhere you look, an old poster promoting some homely product such as olive oil or baguettes meets the eye; but somehow it's not stereotyped. The countertop may not be zinc but this bar is likely to remind every French person of back home. While many customers are indeed French, on the night of our visit we also heard guests speaking Cantonese, English and Danish.
The drinks: the bar has Stella on tap and makes standard cocktails to order, but you should visit for its French drinks. The clue is in the name for the bar's signature drink but it doesn't only stock Pernod. My drinking buddy started with a Pastis Henri Bardouin (HK$70) that comes tall with water, and liked it so much he ordered a second, leading to an evening he probably woke up to regret. Aside from some 'Whikies', the drinks menu also includes an interesting selection of French spirits including Calvados, Poire Williams and armagnac, but only one cognac. The list of wines by the glass might be short but it's good and the bottle selection is wider. A cabernet sauvignon Bad?t Cl?ment S?duction 2010 was a great tipple at HK$60. A Cotes du Rhone Laurus 2009 (HK$70) went down well.
The verdict: this bar lives up to its ambitions as a piece of France transplanted to Hong Kong. Practice your shrugs.