The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell, London
It doesn’t look it at first instance but the Modern Pantry lives up its “modern” moniker. It offers an inventive menu with worldly flavours and contrasting influences. However, I didn’t quite enjoy my experience at The Modern Pantry as much as I was expecting. That’s not to say it was an entirely unpleasant one.
The very interesting menu didn’t deliver the wow in the food, and the service was rather slow. Everything felt a bit too fussy. I booked in for a weekday dinner catchup, and The Modern Panty is in a nice spot in a quieter part of Clerkenwell. The space is light and airy, perfect for brunch (and that’s where they may shine).
The evening menu is seasonal and ever-evolving. The chef shows off her creativity and I was hoping to be enamoured with the food given we’re both kiwis. But whilst it did show invention, it was that tasty. Thing started off with the quail eggs with an odd sauce that were okay.
For the main I had a sort of vegetarian quinoa risotto with silverbeet, vegetables and a fried shell. It sounded fine on paper, but seems a little wacky in retrospect. Think salad, think curry, think stir-fry. It’s a fusion that ended up feeling like it had muddied flavours, without any single element being memorable. it ends up looking like a bit of a heap of scavenged vegetarian items.
The service was warm and friendly over our time but there was a delay between starter and main that mildly irked. It felt quite long that we had to ask a number of times on where the dishes was, and the restaurant was not full either. It’s a nice, relaxed setting at The Modern Pantry but I wouldn’t mind the fusion flavours calming down a bit and maybe I’d give it another shot. In the spirit of kiwi-ness. If you’re in Clerkenwell, I much prefer Breddos Tacos (if you can get a table that is!).