On a blowy Tuesday evening I decided to meet a couple of friends for drinks and I had heard a lot of talk about Le Truc so decided to check it out. I recalled my French A-Levels and remembered that Le Truc means, ‘the thing”. I wasn’t sure why they went with this name; perhaps it is what you want it to be…I wanted it to be a good bar so in I went.
As with a lot of the good bars in Birmingham, Le Truc is both restaurant and bar. As you walk in you see low hanging lights, ornate mirrors and quirky wooden benches. A long drinks bar flanks the left hand-side, leading you down to the restaurant and small outside dining terrace. I was here for the drinks so I parked myself on one of the benches with my mates and devoured the cocktail menu. Without being too try hard, there is definitely a touch of Paris; I can’t put my finger on why but don’t look out onto Chinatown for a moment and you could well be in a comfortable but chic Parisian restaurant/bar.
Le freak? C'est chic! Le Truc is the cheapest and chic-est holiday to France that you'll find in Birmingham.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
As it was a Tuesday in Birmingham, the place wasn’t buzzing, but there was a good convivial atmosphere of young professionals hanging by the bar a slightly older crowd seated in the restaurant and as luck would have it, a group of French young’uns chatting away on one of the bar benches…just in case I forgot this was a French inspired place! Actors? Surely not! Probably a group of frenchies looking for a taste of home. The atmosphere was created by the chitter chatter of groups catching up after a hard day in the office or a few couples scattered around staring lovingly into each others eyes (and cocktails).
Young, cool and quirky; Le Truc's visitors are an atmospheric bunch.
Looking at the drinks menu, you can instantly see that the drinks are not a secondary to the food at Le Truc; a substantial but not over-whelming number of cocktails to choose from and they are all hand-crafted and carefully thought out. No mojitos or Sex on the beach (sorry…sex sur la plage) here. We went for the Chanticleer and Boho Blanche. The Chanticleer was a refreshing and well balanced cocktail of Gin, lemon, raspberry syrup and egg white…a cocktail inspired by The Savoy’s world-famous bar in London. The Boho Blanche was a very interesting and quirky tasting cocktail made from Gin, Absinthe, citrus flavours and a touch of the almond Orgeat; it was one of those cocktails that stops and makes you think what you are drinking rather than glugging down. At an average of £7.50 this may be at the top end of the Birmingham cocktail scene but these are full on, what I would call proper cocktails, and worth every penny. They also have an expansive selection of wines, beer and cider for the less adventurous pallet/full walleted of you.
Custom and creative cocktails are what really make Le Truc shine above the rest.
I think I figured our what “the thing” about Le Truc was for me…a really good cocktail bar in Birmingham; the comfortable but cool décor will please but most importantly the cocktails will delight. Forget your bowl of snails and head straight to the bar and stay there all night. Le Truc offers something completely different to the other bars in the Arcadian/Chinatown area and stands out like the Eiffel Tower. Worth going down there next time you are meeting someone for drinks? Oui Oui, bien sur!