Nestled on a quiet square in Clerkenwell, a short walk from Farringdon station, is the Modern Pantry. In the summer tables spill out of this old townhouse, and inside there are 3 levels to the restaurant (and the toilets are right at the top!). The ground floor has a bright, relaxed cafe vibe with a long sharing table in the centre; the first floor plays host to a similarly daubed restaurant along with some private dining rooms, and the second floor has more elaborate private dining rooms offer.
I’ve been to the Modern Pantry twice for brunch, and it’s truly excellent. The baked eggs are exceptional, but I’m a sucker for the eggs-as-you-like and halloumi. I also have it on good authority they do a wonderful bottomless brunch at the weekends… so consider this review a “to be continued” because that definitely warrants a fourth visit!
White crab, macadamia nut som tam, sourdough toast, pickled sea plantain and parsnip crisps
My third visit (and when I actually remembered to take pictures) was for dinner. The dinner menu is just as interesting as the brunch menu, and the portions equally generous. The chefs clearly favour eclectic ingredients – there were plenty of things on the menu that captured my curiosity. To start, I went for the white crab on toast with sea plantain. I think this dish is an acquired taste, and I’m not sure I would order it again, but I did enjoy it. If you’re not feeling adventurous, the smoked burrata salad looked a much safer bet.
Tamarind & miso marinated onglet steak, shallot puree, sea beats, lemongrass braised cherry tomatoes; Persian spice, yougurt & garlic marinated lamb chops, jerusalem artichoke puree, radish, broad bean and parchment bread salad, spiced pommes Anna, goats cheese cream; on the side, cassava chips with creme fraiche and tomato salsa
For mains, I went for onglet steak which was melt in your mouth delicious, and perfectly paired with seat beats and lemongrass braised cherry tomatoes. My dining companion had a marinated lamb dish, and this was just as tasty. And I can’t stress how generous the portions are – you won’t need dessert. Which is actually a shame because the desserts look equally delectable.
Without a doubt one of my favourite restaurants in London, not to be missed.