Modern Spanish Classic
Modernista Old Café & Tapas Bar
Beijing’s quaint and old-school, courtyard-encircling hutongs have been gaining a reputation in recent years as go-to spots to discover fabulous hidden boutiques, dining rooms and watering holes – and now, returning to the happening Dongcheng fray and joining recent hits like the gorgeous King’s Joy is the newly refurbed Modernista Old Café & Tapas Bar. Following a summer hiatus, Modernista has re-opened with a convivial atmosphere and art deco looks, not to mention a well-priced imported beer, absinthe and whiskey list, diverse line-up of entertainment (from live music and stand-up comedy to burlesque dancers and energetic mah-jong nights), plus now a brand spanking second storey.
Spanish tapas remains the focal point of the food menu, with standout morsels including crispy, creamy meat-filled croquetas de pollo, calamares deep-fried until tender and golden brown, and masterfully seasoned tortillas de patatas. While waiting on the food, wordsmiths can get acquainted with Modernista’s multilingual book collection, while cocktail aficionados can inspect the Swing Era-inspired program. Round off with soft, sweet dessert torrijas sprinkled with just enough cinnamon sugar, and when all is said, done, supped and sipped, it’s time to take a well-earned spin around that chequerboard dancefloor. Jazz-tastic!