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Hidden Kingdom- Taco Bar Beijing

 

 
 
Don’t say it too loudly, but Beijing has a sexy new authentic Mexican Speakeasy!
 
It’s name, simply: The Taco Bar Beijing.
 
Hidden away behind an unmarked, locked door in a small alleyway off the hutongs near the Lama Temple, it’s the kind of place only insiders know about.
 
It is generally touted as one of Beijing's best Mexican restaurants. Do not attempt to wander in without a booking. Reservations are mandatory. Call the number and do not knock on any door. 132-6406-7593. 
 
The small but quaint and quirky space is designed by the team behind the popular Apothecary bar and Modo and Mosto restaurants in Sanlitun. The interior has been kept nice and simple, with a few wooden tables designed for sharing, industrial chic lamps and a wall-sized chalkboard menu.
Once you’ve entered the hideout located off Fangjia Hutong, extremely delicious and creative tacos and drinks await you. 
 
Everything is made fresh daily on-site, from the totopos (fried to order tortilla chips) to the salsa, slow simmered black beans and of course, the tacos.
 
Start with a bottle the house made Sangria, which you mix yourself into mugs filled to the brim with ice.
Then come the fresh, hot, crispy tortilla chips accompanied by a tin of chunky guacamole, black beans and peppered sweet corn. 
 
For main course the decision is simple: Tacos!
 
I recommend the fried fish tacos which are hands down the best in town! It comes cradled in a slaw of peppery, dressed cabbage. 
 
The carnitas tacos are made up of beautifully slow cooked pork that is extremely succulent, with juices from the pork and pickled onion dribbling down your wrists. 
 
There’s also a simple and traditional al pastor, chunks of sweetly-marinated pork tossed with diced pineapple.
 
Vegetarians can still pig-out here with the hongos, battered-then-fried mushrooms, or if it’s your lucky day, the owner gets creative and deep fries sliced avocados. 
 
Other than the Sangria, they have a few local and imported beers. They also make a house cocktail of gin and grapefruit.
 
For festive groups, there is of course Tequila on offer which really adds another dimension to the evening. 
 
Directions: Fangjia Hutong. In the alleyway across from Hot Cat club and Aimo Town. When in front of Aimo Town, call the number and do not knock on any door. 132-6406-7593. 
 
Open Wed-Sun 7:30pm-Close. (Afternoons, Mondays, and Tuesdays are available by reservation. Minimum 15 people).
 
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