I love a café with a bit of character. The fact that new kid on the block, Café Modi, has a theme, and an arty one at that, lead me to hope, even before I set foot in the door, that this will be my kind of place.
Once I do make it inside, I can’t help feeling disappointed. Yes, there are lots of pictures of red-haired young ladies with long noses on the walls, all reproductions of paintings by Modigliani, but apart from that the whole place feels a bit nondescript. It’s clean and comfortable but almost as bland as the reception of a large corporate building. The flat screen TV doesn’t help in this regard, even if it’s on silent.
Onto the drinks. Visit number one takes place on a hot day so I start off with a coffee for my daily caffeine fix which is proffered by a smiling waitress and comes with a complimentary tumbler of tap water. The cappucino (45 CZK) is above average—not too bitter or full of artificial looking froth. So far, so good. Next I opt for a domácí citronáda (49 CZK for 500ml) to cool down. I become more positively disposed to Café Modi as soon as it arrives. This homemade beverage is bursting with bits of lemon, lime, and orange. It looks like a work of art that even Modigliani might appreciate and tastes pretty good too.
The second time I pop by, it’s raining. This time I need to warm up so I decide to try a fresh ginger tea (49 CZK). It’s very nicely presented in a large see-through mug with a sieve-like contraption filled with bits of—yep, you guessed it, ginger – with a tiny jug of honey on the side. Of course, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet, so just in case things get too healthy, I order a slice of something sweet.
The selection of sugary treats seems rather limited—there’s raspberry tart, apple pie, and some muffins—so I go for the most interesting option: profiterole cake (58 CZK). It has a spongey base covered in custardy stuff, then topped off with a layer of those spherical cream-filled pastries sprinkled with chocolate flakes. It was edible but a bit underwhelming. Perhaps the motto here should be, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Profiteroles are pretty damn tasty the way they are, so why interfere with them?
If it’s an alcoholic tipple you’re after, the choice is much broader: there were more than half a dozen wines available and the bar seems well stocked with spirits. Given this fact, and its central location, perhaps Café Modi is more the kind of place you could meet a friend for an after work drink rather than to pig out on desserts. If you’re in the neighbourhood earlier in the day and in need of a sit-down, you could do a lot worse. The huge windows are good for staring out of and daydreaming or people-watching, mood dependent. However, for a café with real character and a Fairtrade beverage, I’d head around the corner to Mama Coffee.
Myslíkova 32, Prague 2 (entrance on Karlovo Namesti)
Hours: Mon–Fri 07:30–21:00; Sat-Sun 09:00-18:00
Brand of coffee: In-house blends
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