STILL laughing at the cat comment :)
Reserve your table at The Modern Pantry Book a table
The Modern Pantry
47-48 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4JJ
- Farringdon Station (0.4 km)
- Barbican Tube Station (0.5 km)
- City Thameslink Station (1.0 km)
- Contact us:
020 7553 9210
Contact via email
- Opening hours:
Mon: 8:00 - 22:00
Tue - Fri: 8:00 - 23:00
Sat: 9:00 - 23:00
Sun: 10:00 - 22:00
48-50 St John's Road, London SW11 1PR
Recipease is all about getting truly fantastic food on your table.
21 reviews of The Modern Pantry in English
On arrival we found that our booking wasn't in the system but there was no stress and the staff were quick to find us a table. The manager then spent quite a bit of time trying to work out what had gone wrong with my booking so he could berate the staff member/fix the system so it doesn't happen again, which I found admirable.
We skipped the extensive wine list and went for a couple of cocktails, delicious. Starters were also delicious. I had a ham-hock and mango salad and the other two had a scallop carpaccio dish, all of which were perfectly seasoned.
I had the venison for my main, very tasty, and the others both enjoyed their dishes.
Dessert next and the chocolate matcha torte was devine, as was my boyfriend's bread and butter pud.
The portion sizes were fair - next time I definitely won't be needing three courses but it was a special occasion and had been paid for as a birthday gift! It seems the menu changes with the seasons as well so I'll definitely be going back to try some more of the fare.
Staff were attentive but not too pushy.
All-in-all this was a great restaurant and I would recommend it.
Embarrasingly it is close to my home but I missed this jewel.
We had planned on Brunch however I could not resist the lunch menu.
THis is a restaurant where you want to try the whole menu but know you will keep having the same dishes each time.
I went with Pollock and tried a bit of my partners Chicken.
The Sloe Gin Sorbet is stunning.
We were a bit boozeed up I must admit however brunch/luch became afternoon tea.
A wonderfull day with friend in a great setting.
I came home to show off my great find to my friends ( A local car service.) Only to find this site.
Its the first time I have reviewed anything maybe its the booze but I see myself adding the good the bad and the ugly (There have been a few of those.) in the future.
The food is delicious, staff are friendly and welcoming but sometimes it takes a very long time for drinks and food to be served. On my last visit we had to wait for about 30 minutes to get drinks.
Brunch at The Modern Pantry started off well with a lovely waitress and a delicious looking menu. The Japanese Mary cocktails were light and tasty and we thought we were in for a nice chilled Sunday afternoon eating a yummy, lazy brunch in the bright and airy downstairs dining room….wrong! Yes the brunch we began was yummy (aside from the streaky bacon being disappointingly only just cooked so the fat was still fatty and no hint of crispness, oh and no seasoning on the eggs but that could be down to taste) but we made the apparently heinous mistake of saying that the fritters that we had ordered as side dish seemed a bit burnt. They did look very dark brown and on trying them tasted bitter and overdone on the outside. We thought it was a simple enough and polite comment but the waiter who we had called over looked at our plate in disbelief, said not one word in response to us and instead picked the plate up whilst rolling his eyes and shaking his head as he walked off. We were a bit taken aback at this but continued eating and shrugged it off. We had heard a few swears and moans from the kitchen earlier and there was a stressed vibe coming across the pass which is open to the dining room but the place wasn’t jammed and regardless we really thought the fritters tasted burnt! The waiter came back out and we looked at him expectantly only to be completely blanked as he walked past our table. It took him another few minutes to come back to us and say " So we are going to do your fritters again but they weren’t burnt. Thats how they are done and if they do them any less they will be raw in the middle" We were not sure at this point if we had accidentally insulted his dead mother without realising but the level of attitude was quite horrible. We said in that case we didn’t want the fritters and he turned on his heels and walked off to the kitchen without out any further discussion or god forbid an apology. Were we meant to say yes ok give us raw fritters then or were we meant to apologise for having such terrible taste? We kept eating but were made to feel even more uncomfortable when I looked up only to see the waiter talking in the ear of another waiter and turning round and pointing at us. When they saw I had caught them doing this they went round the corner continuing to talk as they did. By this point we had gone off our brunch and decided that rather than getting upset any further by rudeness we would just ask for the bill and leave. Despite half my brunch being left on my plate it was cleared without comment or asking if the food had been ok. Even the greasy spoon up the road from me asks if everything was ok! A different waiter brought the credit card machine and only after running the card details through did he say “I am sorry about the fritters”. I said we did not have a problem with the fritters it was the staff member being rude, rolling his eyes at us and shaking his head in response that was upsetting. Oh I am sorry he said do you want me to take the service charge off? This was the final insult. No I don’t want to take the service charge away from the perfectly pleasant waitress and you might as well be saying you really couldn’t care less about this. He evidently knew there had been a problem and we had seen the waiter talking to other staff about us yet the implication seemed to be that we were the ones at fault and that they had no interest in trying to make our experience a good one. Never mind the fact that we paid nearly £40 for a brunch that we couldn’t finish because we felt too uncomfortable to be there any more. What a terrible shame that good food and a lovely setting are spoiled by rude and disinterested service. They must be doing awfully well in these recession hit times to be able to afford to treat customers so poorly.
update: received a mail from the manager apologising for the bad service and saying will pass the matter on to the owner. Very nice and fast response. Seems that they may have been having a bad day and after corresponding with the manager I am keen to go back and see if the food is as delicious as it looked.
Super place for a weekend brunch - delicious food and lovely surroundings, including good outdoor seating on the terrace which feels frightfully continental.
The menu offers the usual brunch fare, but with interesting tweaks - eggs with halloumi or chorizo, tea smoked salmon, coconut and cassava pancakes, cured prawn omelette. The elderflower, mint and earl grey iced tea was sublime. The only disappointment was that they were all out of pastries! Serves us right for turning up at 12...
Well worth a visit, but book if you can. Lunch menu looked excellent as well, so planning a return trip for that
I wanted to take the other half out for a decent Sunday brunch, but couldn't find anywhere which was a) not extortionate b) not in West London and c) offering more than just a roast. The Modern Pantry came recommended via the interweb and it ticked all the boxes. The only problem I have with it is its location in the heart of Clerkenwell, an area which on a Sunday is more dead than a decomposing pigeon. However, given the very pretty building The Modern Pantry is housed in - a charming narrow homestead tucked away between the boring offices - I can understand why they're there.
It was only after I'd booked that I realised the kiwi connection (I'm a New Zealander of old) - my first clue was the hokey pokey ice cream on the menu - but what I hadn't expected was to step into a light, fresh, Auckland-vibe cafe. I honestly spent the entire meal convinced I was on Ponsonby Road.
The place was bustling so I was glad we'd booked, and we sat upstairs in a light, pretty dining room. The vibe was that of a glowing, sociable, Sunday-afternoon. I had fabulously perfect poached eggs with mouth-watering halloumi (done to perfection - not a squeak was heard) and grilled toms, toast, and spinach. My other half had the tea-smoked salmon with eggs which may just be the best smoked salmon I've ever tasted. This was the proper, cooked fillet kind of smoked salmon with a perfectly smoky flavour, and not that slimy slivery kind of smoked salmon you normally get with breakfast. We were both in raptures over our brunch... at first it seemed the portions might not be enough, but we were more than stuffed by the time we downed cutlery. My only gripe would be that the salmon and poached eggs dish could do with more than one piece of toast. [Note, that's the worst I could come up with.]
Drinks were the Earl Grey & Elderflower Iced Tea with fresh mint (divine - I could have drunk several litres of it) and fresh juices. Followed with a pot of Earl Grey tea. Normally I frown upon being served teabags rather than loose leaf, but they only charged £2 a pot and the brand they used (Drury Lane) was absolutely gorgeous.
Meals were brought out swiftly and the service was friendly and polite, but trying to flag down a waiter for anything else took bit longer because the place was so busy. As it was, they seemed to have a tight-knit but friendly service system in place. And frankly, I'd rather slow service than being rushed, especially on a Sunday, so I wasn't bothered at all.
All up the meal came to £30 incl service, for drinks, tea, and cooked breakfasts for two which, for the standard of the food and the pleasant atmosphere, was bloody good value.
I will be going back there again.
First off, when the service is so absent-minded and disinterested that you have to concoct a back story for the waitress ("Ohhh, bless her. Her cat died this morning. That's why she's so miserable") to give her the benefit of the doubt, then you're doing more of the hard work for any decent restaurant than you should rightly have to.
I haven't been to Providores for years but the breakfast there was legendary. I'm not convinced that the inspired cooking has been transferred over here, though I believe that's where Modern Pantry's head chef used to work. This feels like a slightly more sanitised, less heart, less confidence version of the Garrison in Bermondsey. We had brunch - waffles with bacon and maple syrup and frou-frou pea shoots, fruit salad, a croissant, an affogato and a share of the bottles of Prosecco on the table - which worked out to £50 for two. We were there with excellent company which made the afternoon but I think there are many many places nearby doing much better food, in equally comfortable surroundings, without the begrudged service for the same or much less cash.
Comment 1 comment on this review
MissRachelle, 5 August 2010:
Have been a few times and found the food really good, highly recommend it. Went recently for the roast brunch and have to say it's probably the best I've had in London so far. The lamb was very tender and the roast vegetable were really delicious. Dessert was a bit on the heavy side for me, quite a large portion to have after the main.
It can be a bit on the pricey side and normally gets really full but they have some upstairs seating so it's not too hard to grab a table.
Coffee isn't fantastic. They do a decent latte and flat white, but the espresso I had was downright awful.
People say that the staff are a bit prickly, but I found that the girl in the side bit (the takeaway area) is very friendly as soon as you mention Belle and Sebastian.
Maybe it's a secret code or something...
I went here for breakfast on my birthday because it's near my office. I'd noticed it a few times and always thought it looked pretty sweet and nice.
Whlie it was both of those things it didn't wow me in any way. It was bustling and took a little while to get seated. Not really because staff were too busy, they just didn't seem to be about or to be noticing anything.
The breakfast options include pastries, fruit and hot, cooked stuff. I had the fruit salad which was lovely and fresh and also had a hot dish which involved egg & toast (can't remember exactly what!). This was nice, but nothing very special.
Adequate, pleasant and other non descript 'meh' words. Nothing wrong with it, but it's doubtful I'd return.
The memory that will remain with me forever about our first visit to Modern Pantry was how well the waitress handled one of our impossibly rude guests - just brilliantly.
That aside, the rest of us (three very happy campers) thoroughly enjoyed the quality of the food, the variety of choices available for brunch, the service and the decor. Just looooove the art in the upstairs dining area, and the light fittings too.
Cannot wait to go back and have a leisurely brunch again - think I'll get the sugar cured prawn omelette this time and then once that's settled try a muffin for finishers. Yum, yum.
Tip: Do book as they get rather busy on the weekends for brunch and if downstairs is looking a little harried ask to be seated upstairs.
Being a South Londoner it was a trek to the Modern Pantry, but I really wanted to try out their brunch menu. Brunch is a much over-looked menu style in London and I am constantly looking for somewhere that serves interesting sweet and savoury food mid-morning and into the afternoon. Looking at the menu of the Modern Pantry I was excited.
After failing to get a booking online I phoned and was immediately offered a table. What’s the point of online booking if it doesn’t work.
Arrived 11AM on Saturday to a buzzing restaurant, with the outside seats taken by folks in their sunglasses and a collection of hairy dogs.
Inside, the decor is very attractive and airy, feels very contemporary.
Food was excellent. I had a prawn omlette which was stunning. It had just the right balance of curry for a brunch meal, and the serving size was spot on, not too much and not too little. The other two at my table had the waffles which sounded delicious, and granola which I didn’t see the point in but the hangover dictated it apparently.
However, I have to agree with the other reviews that the service really needs work on. We ordered a juice, and not until we asked the third time did it arrive. We had food of other orderers land on our table with real confusion when we said it wasn’t ours. Coffees were good taste-wise, but arrived cold.
This shouldn’t put you off trying, but a word to the Modern Pantry - get your service sharper! In London I suppose it will do well regardless of the service as there is a dearth of good eateries like the Modern Pantry, but this could become a truly great place if it nailed the service
The name pretty much sums it up - arty, upmarket, wholefood place for luvvies in the retro back-to-basics style of Le Pain Quotidien et al.
Nice, loft-style brick interior complete with “ironic” flying ducks, lovely coffee and good service.
Not cheap, but then most media types who hang out here are on expenses anyway.
Nice outside seating area at the front, too - weather permitting …
I’ve had the pleasure to have dinner here as well as a mid-morning snack and coffee and I’ve enjoyed it both times. The coffee is GREAT! I was surprised. I didn’t expect it. Dinner was delicious as were the snacks. There is no doubt as to the quality, freshness and excellent preparation of the food. The menu is inventive, but not pretentious, so it will appeal to the adventurous and the not so much. However, dinner service was a bit slow and inept. Service is the one thing that this place needs to work on. With that said, the service for the mid-morning snack and coffee on the piazza outside was very good, friendly and prompt. So, maybe it’s a dinner thing. Irrespective, Modern Pantry is a place where I’ll return and recommend to friends.
I wish this place was closer to home! As it is we drove across town in order to be close to Kings Cross to see off a friend later on in the day.
The Sunday breakfast/brunch is the best I have had in a long time. The choice is varied and different from the usual.
Loved a cooked vegetarian breakfast with haloumi cheese and spinach and could quite happily have eaten everyone else’s choices, too.
Couldn’t resist the temptation of following this with one of the muffins which were lovingly displayed in the middle of the table.
Not sure if the company of Australians made me imagine this place to be by the beach. But the decor is lovely, fresh and bright.
Even though our water was most definitely severely hungover (or still drunk from the night before), we experienced brilliant and very friendly service.
Will definitely try and find an excuse to go again.
I’d probably be dishing out a full five stars here if it wasn’t for the attitude problem of most of the staff that work here, maybe they don’t like getting up at the crack of dawn on Sunday? I don’t either actually, but when tempted with such delights as the ricotta pancakes, grape and stone fruit compote lathered with creme fraiche, I can make an exception. Stupidly enough, I didn’t actually order them because I was feeling guilty after munching through not one, but two full English breakfast in the previous two days. I took a fruit salad. It did happen to be delicious and all the fruit was perfectly ripened, but maybe a touch over the top at 6 pounds something. Expect breakfast for two to come in at around 25 quid.
The decor is bright and airy, and reminds me of The Garrison somewhat, a favourite of mine. I think I’ll come back, order the pancakes, and be very happy.
When confronted with the word 'fusion’ I normally tend to add the suffix 'schmusion’, as many fusion restaurants seem to be ill-thought out attempts to jump on a bandwagon that rolled out of town in the early noughties. However, the Modern Pantry bucks this trend with incredible attention to detail and mouth-watering food. We arrived on a cold monday night to be greeted with warm, attentive service from the onset, with our server coming across as friendly and in control of the room. We sat at a communal table and began to drool over the menu; every dish sounded delicious and intriguing, with the food taking in elements of rustic French and British grub, Asian flavours and Pacific elements.
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and Modern Pantry was certainly not all talk and no trousers [I’m all about the cheesy British sayings tonight aren’t I?]. To start we shared a sugar-cured prawn omelette, which has to be the best omelette I’ve ever had in my life- Just wet enough, with four massive prawns, spring onions, chilli and a myriad other thai style flavours all nestled under a smoked chilli sambal, which was basically an earthy jam. For mains I had duck confit with a quinoa cake, greens and tamarind jam which was beautifully balanced and moreish, whilst my companion had a beef shin stew flavoured with tamarind and served with parsnip mash and crisps which was equally tongue-pleasing. Then dessert; I’m normally the type to share desserts, but everything on the menu sounded so delicious we ended up getting one each AND some of their divine Valrhona truffles, and we definitely made the right choice, as both the absolutely inspired Pina Colada trifle and the chocolate truffle torte were perfect- not too sweet, just rich enough and plate-lickingly good. This place is getting deserved praise in the papers at the moment with a nine out of ten in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine last week, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to try something a bit special.
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