Modern Pantry exemplifies my most chronic case of 'foodie inertia' till date. What is 'foodie inertia' you ask? It is a phenomenon that usually occurs in large cities with thousands of restaurants. One says "Oh I really want to eat at that place!" Months go by - sometimes years - and you still haven't eaten at 'that place'. Modern Pantry has been on my restaurant list since I started this blog about three years ago (yeah I know). For some reason, there was never the right time, the right weather, or the right crowd to pay a visit. But finally, one glorious Sunday afternoon after a fun night out, the opportunity to eat here finally presented itself. I had the pleasure of dining here with the usual suspects, MRG and Valentino, in addition to a Mr Han.
The ambience reminded me very strongly of Granger & Co as the natural lighting and the neutral colour scheme gave rise to a calm atmosphere that improved my general brunch experience. I also noticed how the neutral and minimalist design enhanced the already present variety of colour in the dishes that they served.
Honestly, I didn't even need to look at the menu. I had known what I wanted to order there since I put the restaurant on my list: the sugar-cured New Caledonian prawn omelette (£9.80). I had a soothing cappuccino before the omelette finally arrived. There it was ... three years of longing ... waiting to be devoured. Would I be disappointed? Fortunately, I wasn't at all! What elevated the dish above the 'standard omelette' was definitely the smoked chilli sambal, which as the name suggests, had a wonderful smoky, spicy and savoury earthiness to it. The crispy buttered toast was also fantastic.
I did, however, have a side of avocado which was slightly disappointing. The avocado was hard and hence lacked its soft spreadable quality. Before we left, I finished off the meal with a satisfactory pain au chocolat.
In summary, Modern Pantry is quite the brunch staple - it has the ambience and the right menu items at the right price. The staff is friendly and the food is generally very decent. As I said in my review of the Chiltern Firehouse, brunch is more about who you're eating with and the ambience than about the food itself. That's not to say that the food isn't important though!
47-48 St John's Square
Greater London, EC1V 4JJ