50 Rue de Charenton, Paris, 75012, France
Tel: +33 1 4346 0809
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Fri midday-2am; Sat-Sun 6pm-2am
Door: Open door
Style: Restaurant bar
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Images By: diffordsguide.com
If Buddha Bar's eastern charms leave you feeling flat, you might prefer a taste of Le China. Formerly known as the China Club, and located on a quiet street near the Gare du Lyon, its combination of Chinoiserie, cocktails and Chesterfields (diners sit on them at low tables) definitely pulls them in.
On busy nights you'll see either a queue of people or large groups of smokers outside. With red lights, lacquered walls, candlelight and the smell of incense, it feels something like an illicit opium den, while the supper club volume of the music makes it incredibly atmospheric - though its black and white flagstone floor and red curtains makes it look like the dream sequence from Twin Peaks.
There's a large, long bar that seats up to 20 people. The menu is full of classics, from Jerry Thomas and Harry Johnson, right through to Trader Vic and Dick Bradsell, as well as some house cocktails with eastern flavours. We couldn't fault the drinks we had, though the service is somewhat slow - frankly the bartenders struggle to meet the demands of the restaurant as well as those sat at the bar.