Trying to find a quiet place to relax, or a decent (i.e. affordable) place for a meal in the City can be quite a difficult task, especially if you do not wish to grab a “to-go” sandwich and coffee. I recently ventured into the Clerkenwell the other day in search for somewhere to do my work before attending a meeting in the area and stumbled upon Modern Pantry…
Modern Pantry is housed among the picturesque Georgian buildings in St. John’s Square (a stone’s throw away from St. John’s Bar and Restaurant). The interior is lovely – clean lines, grey and white palette, simple neat and understated, with the warm morning natural sun lighting the interior. The Modern Pantry is exactly how I imagine my future kitchen/dining area to be…
As the name suggests, Modern Pantry is a café serving eclectic fusion food. Anna Hansen is a New Zealander and has been one of the females chefs to watch in the UK. She does a wonderful job creatively infusing elements of east and west together on a plate. The ground floor is a modern communal dining space (which reminded me of someone’s kitchen) that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The first level is a cosy restaurant spread over two rooms, which is perfect for romantic night out as well as for private functions.
The menu was filled with very interesting dishes such as a prawn omelette, green chilli, spring onions, coriander, smoked chilli sambal and toast (I LOVE sambal!!!!) But I had a very bad pancake craving that day and opted for the Raspberry Manouri Pancakes instead.
The pancakes came with a side of creme fraiche and mixed berry compote. The compote was sweet and sour, but not overly tangy. The pancakes were delicious. Every bite was a surprise since you wouldn’t know if you’ll be getting the pancakes with raspberry bits, or ricotta bits. I wished the pancakes were a little crispier on the edges, but it was very tasty and fluffy and light nevertheless.
Normally, after having a bite of a fusion dish, my mind would be filled with numerous question marks – “Was that what that dish was suppose to taste like?!” “Why would any one want to put this ingredient with that ingredient on a plate?!”. However, my meal at The Modern Pantry was pleasant and I do hope to return again to try something else when I’m feeling adventurous and up for trying something new. I sat there for approximately 2 hours with my laptop and the staff were excellent and extremely accommodating (they offered to charge my laptop for me at the bar if my battery ran out!). I left when the restaurant started to get noisy due to the buzzing lunch crowd. Do visit The Modern Pantry in Spring/Summer, I think it’d be lovely dining outdoors on warmer days.
Ambience: 4/5 Forks
Service: 4/5 Forks
Food: 3/5 Forks
The Modern Pantry
47-48 St John’s Square