We have been to The Modern Pantry for dinner before but decided to try it as a brunch location. It was a lovely sunny day and all of the tables on the terrace outside were taken; this was fine as there was a light breeze and there is nothing worse than luke warm food due to wind chill.
We walked up the couple of stairs to the reception and gave our booking reference , the waitress looked for a good couple of minutes and then gave up and showed us a free table – clearly they hadn’t put us on the system even though we had called the day before. Fortunately the restaurant indoors was pretty quite so she could give us a table without losing face. It’s a little awkward as the reception desk is right by the door (which was open as it was sunny) and the waiters kept having to push past us as they were serving outside.
Anyway we were finally seated and given the brunch/dinner menu. The brunch menus differ slightly on a Saturday and a Sunday which is a nice added touch. We were served a bottle of water with mint and lemon juice by a waitress who then took our drinks order. We ordered an English breakfast tea and a jasmine & elderflower ice tea. After a long wait to be served we were then suddenly asked if we wanted to order drinks again by another waitress. It was clumsy and a trend that followed throughout the meal. Our drinks eventually came out and the ice tea was a great choice. It was served with a peachy colour and a thick wedge of apple and with a slight foam at the top delightful!
The restaurant is strikingly white, the walls are white and the tables are beach hut white. This makes the place feel fresh, bright and modern. There is an upstairs too but we did not venture there. The kitchen is at the back in the corner so that you can just see the flurry of action.
We then ordered our food choice by another waiter after I made eye contact as I was getting frustrated and not to mention hungry! We ordered the Middle East minced lamb that was infused with ginger, chilli and a range of exotic spices, as well as the second dish of scrambled eggs, chorizo, roasted tomato and plantain. The lamb was served with charcoaled bread on a bright white bowl that matched the decor. The mince was just a delight – it was sophisticated and mild yet full of flavour – such a great dish. The scrambled eggs came out with spicy chorizo and roasted tomatoes that stood out from the yellow eggs and plantain. This combination really worked as it was spicy, creamy and had a sweetness from the tomatoes and plantain.
While this was going on I observed the numerous waiters who were continuously confusing themselves, shouting contradictory orders and generally getting into a bit of a mess. We have to say we did have dinner here before and the service really wasn’t that weak so we assume that the less experienced staff are put on for brunch – rather a strange set up to be honest.
As a result of the inexperienced messy service, the creative dishes and the modern feel for this Clerkenwell establishment, Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls gives The Modern Pantry:
Food Atmosphere Service