Bar review: newly opened Paradis in Central evokes the French Caribbean
Tasty cocktails, a classy ambience, good prices and commendable service make this place as close to paradise as you’ll find in Wyndham Street, Central. Just don’t expect Red Stripe or reggae
The vibe: Paradis is French for Paradise, and this recent opening on Wyndham Street is designed to evoke the tropical paradise of French Caribbean outposts Martinique and Guadeloupe. Thought and taste have gone into the refined, earth-toned decor – cane fittings, art deco style lights and deep leather sofas make it easy to imagine you’re sipping your drinks in a colonial era planter’s mansion. It should appeal to Hong Kong’s French community, although it may puzzle those who identify the Caribbean with pirate movies or the very different style of the West Indies.
The drinks: the tropical and retro themes with a French flavour are continued in the cocktail list. The Frozen charred key lime daiquiri (HK$95) blends lime and sugar with premium three-year-old New Grove Rum from Mauritius to produce complex, delicate flavours plus a definite kick – paradisiac indeed. The barrel-aged Dom Tom’s Negroni (HK$100), described as “100 per cent French blended and aged” is named in honour of France’s overseas territories, known for short as “les DOM TOM” (Départements et Territoires d’Outre-Mer). Stylishly served in an antique cut glass bottle, this light, elegant version of the classic drink pulls off the distinctive Negroni taste despite blending the gin being blended with white liquors instead of the traditional Campari and red vermouth.
There’s no better way to test a bartender’s skills than to ask for something not on the list. Faced with a request for mocktails from my companion, suffering enforced abstention while on antibiotics, the Paradis mixologist rustled up an excellent virgin mojito followed by an equally delicious if nameless concoction featuring pineapple, passion fruit and lime among others. Both drinks were a steal at HK60.
The verdict: with cocktails as classy as the ambience, obliging, professional service and reasonable prices, this may not be paradise but it’s as close as you’re likely to get to it on Wyndham Street. Just don’t expect reggae, Red Stripe or Captain Jack Sparrow.
Paradis Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, 3/F, 46-48 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 3182 0105. Open: Monday to Friday noon-2.30pm, 6.3pm-2.30am, Saturday 6.30pm-2.30am