Smooth white beams, floor-to-ceiling windows and a vaulted roof of sky lights make the interior of 27. Café as light and airy as possible while still technically being inside. Owned by the same people behind Florentina, the café has a similarly European influence that doesn’t altogether escape the ostentatious trappings of high-end Beijing cafés. It comes pretty damn close, though.
Unlike many of the hutong coffee houses that litter downtown, 27. Café actually opens in time for a normal working human to have breakfast , a coffee and shoot off some emails before heading into work. Not that laptop-toting novelists and aspiring screenplay writers wouldn’t also be comfortable smoking cigarettes and sipping fine Italian espresso at one of the café’s outdoor tables.
They’re certainly not giving it away at 27. Café, but with coffees starting at 20RMB and respectable panini sandwiches at 48RMB, the prices are reasonable enough for all but the legitimately starving of starving artists.The sandwich set, available all day, is excellent value at 68RMB. Choose from options like Parisian ham on crusty baguette or farmer’s roast chicken on multi-seed bread and wash it down with a glass of fresh fruit juice or chef Philippe Uzan’s molten chocolate drink.
Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate the luxurious éclairs (22RMB each; 112RMB for six). No Parisian-style café would be complete without macarons, and 27.Café is no slouch. Lofty shells are stuffed to bursting with richly flavoured creams and compotes – the texture and ratio of filling to shell is on the money (51RMB for five).
Even the handmade sorbets and gelatos are worthy of praise, if a bit pricy (40RMB per scoop). 27.Café is sure to be popular with local residents, and might just be enough to draw in downtown folks looking for a smart place to hang out and enjoy a sweet treat.