Article By David Lee
West Gate, Cui Zhu Yuan Compound, Qu Jiang 1 Street Fu Rong West Road, Yanta District.
(029) 8913 5956
6:00pm – 2:00pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 72RMB/Drink (half price 6 p.m.-9 p.m.)
PROS: Incredible cocktails and top-tier bartending
CONS: Only serves small snacks
Iwas getting antsy as the bartender was working on my Old Fashioned for almost ten minutes. Then I took one sip and the drink surpassed all my expectations—I would’ve waited an hour.
Paradise Bar is an intimate cocktail bar tucked into a quiet corner of Qujiang just inside the Third Ring Road. Anyone looking for a fun night out in a relaxed, quaint environment should make a trip.
Having gone to my fair share of bars in Xi’an, I had begun to associate slow bar service with ineptitude. Maybe the bartender did not know how to make my drink or did not have all the ingredients prepared. Assuredly the end-product would be mediocre and I would sit with an overpriced beverage masquerading as a cocktail.
Not at Paradise. The bar was a front-row seat to watching an expert at his craft. My bartender was making good conversation, being so incredibly patient with my broken Chinese, and taking painstaking care of my drink. He was talking, pouring, mixing, stirring, shaking and even blowtorching all at the same time. Each drink that he made was unique and delicious.
The cocktail menu at Paradise looks like a script for a play. It is a thick ream of paper with English and Chinese descriptions for every drink. They have all the usuals: Old-Fashioned, Cuba Libre, Tequila Sunrise, etc. but the quality of the drinks are a cut above. Paradise really shines with its signature drinks, located at the front of the menu. As soon as I saw there was a drink called the “F—ing Chihuahua” I knew I had to get it. It is incredibly strong but tasted absolutely exquisite.
Paradise’s three sections also offer three distinctly different environments. I sat at the bar to watch the bartender and really get the community feel of being at the bar. Those looking for a more relaxing, casual environment can sit in a side parlor with high-backed leather couches and chairs straight out of a 1950s men’s magazine. The patio seating is also an option for people to smoke or be a little more rambunctious.
The bar opens at 6 p.m. every evening and has a buy-1-get-1 happy hour until 9 p.m. These incredible drinks come at a cost, so I would recommend coming at happy hour to try different drinks without breaking the bank. They stay open until 3 a.m. so once happy hour is over, feel free to choose your favorites and stay as late as you want.
Just make sure to eat before you head to the bar because you will want to try all of their drinks and their food selection is minimal. They are focused on what they do best. Their snack selection is mostly nuts, jerky and dried squid. They are good things to munch on with your beverage but not substantive enough for a meal. But that’s just fine with me because the drinks are enough to satisfy.
David Lee is a reviewer for Xianease hoping to eventually write something as good as “real g’s move in silence like lasagna.”
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org