We arrived at The Modern Pantry which is located in St John’s Square in Clerkenwell. The name sums up the atmosphere aptly. It is modern fresh but has a pantry like feel as it is rather communal and the food is varied and of good quality.
We were seated on the long communal table which was not crowded. The restaurant itself is light and bright as there are full length windows on three of the four walls.
We were seated on the thick wooden table that was close to the kitchen, it was possible to see the chefs at work but this was clearly not meant to be a centre piece which is becoming more frequent in modern restaurants. Instead its focus was to be on the people that you are with friend’s family and/or loved ones.
We ordered salmon sashimi with a truffle yuzu soy dressing and a crab, raw scallop and tomatoes salad. This was light, fresh and a fusion of Australasian ingredients. It was tasty but could have been spiced a little stronger for its full flavours to be enhanced however, this did allow the very subtle flavours to speak for themselves. It certainly left us wanting more.
For main course, we both ordered monkfish with curly kale. The dish was a good size and the meaty fish dominated the plate, like we had hoped. The white meat was light yet meaty and deliciously flavoured and the irony kale really complimented the dish. What we liked about The Modern Pantry’s dishes were that they were homely, casual yet had a touch of Asian inspiration that you couldn’t put your finger on. The menu, although typically English had a Pan-Asian twist that had real charm not to mention braveness.
For dessert we ordered panacotta along with a raspberry and apple crumble. The panacotta was light and satisfying though not unique or memorable but the crumble was really luxurious though rather filling after the other two courses. We ordered this with a caramel ice cream and placed the ice cream to melt in the centre of the crumble which was scolding hot with the fruit compote. The ice cream had large chucks of toffee in that just slowly melted into the thick crumble toppings and slowly meandered down to the rich fruit below.
The staff was friendly and the food quality and flavours were great. Our only qualms were that the food was not as well spiced as we would have liked – if going to do fusion/pan-Asian food you might as well do it, but in a way, this probably added to its eccentric British charm. The service was rather too quick for the laid back atmosphere so this place.
Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls awards the Modern Pantry:
Food Atmosphere Service