Modern Pantry

Restaurants , Global Clerkenwell
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(60 user reviews)
123 Love It
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The Modern Pantry (Britta Jaschinski / Time Out)
Britta Jaschinski / Time Out
The Modern Pantry (Britta Jaschinski / Time Out)
Britta Jaschinski / Time Out
The Modern Pantry (Alys Tomlinson / Time Out)
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
The Modern Pantry (Britta Jaschinski / Time Out)
Britta Jaschinski / Time Out
The Modern Pantry (Britta Jaschinski / Time Out)
Britta Jaschinski / Time Out
The Modern Pantry (Ed Marshall / Time Out)
Ed Marshall / Time Out
The Modern Pantry (Tricia de courcy ling )
Tricia de courcy ling
The Modern Pantry (Alys Tomlinson / Time Out)
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
The Modern Pantry (Britta Jaschinski / Time Out)
Britta Jaschinski / Time Out

Enticing fusion dishes that make the most of unusual ingredients from around the globe (including Britain), with professional and utterly charming service.

As co-founder of The Providores, chef Anna Hansen has form in creating enticing fusion dishes that make the most of unusual ingredients sourced from around the globe – we guarantee even the most devoted foodie will be bamboozled by a couple of items on the menu. Asian and antipodean flavours (tomatillo, yuzu, tamarind) pop up frequently, alongside plenty of seasonal British fare (wild garlic, purple sprouting broccoli); the combinations can seem bewildering on the page, but rarely falter in execution. Perfectly cooked, flaky, pearlescent cod was offset beautifully by parsnip purée and braised fennel delicately perfumed with camomile. The signature dish of sugar-cured prawn omelette with chilli, coriander and spring onion is still a winner; and blackcurrant and liquorice sorbet was a revelation in intense flavour matching. The stylish ground-floor café is quite feminine in feel with its soothing white and grey paintwork, white furniture and burnished copper light fittings – it seems to attract plenty of female diners too. The flexible table layout caters equally well for couples as groups, and intimate conversation is still possible even when the place is bubbling over. White-aproned staff are among the nicest we’ve encountered in London: both deeply professional and utterly charming. There’s a small bar area too and a more formal restaurant upstairs.


Venue name: Modern Pantry
Address: 47-48 St John's Square
Opening hours: Café Breakfast served 8-11am Mon-Fri. Brunch served 9am-4pm Sat; 10am-4pm Sun. Afternoon tea served 3-5pm Mon-Sat. Meals served noon-10pm Mon; noon-10.30pm Tue-Fri. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Sat; 6-10pm Sun. Restaurant Brunch served 9am-4pm Sat; 10am-4pm Sun. Lunch served noon-3pm Tue-Fri; noon-4pm Sat, Sun. Afternoon tea served 3-5pm Sat. Dinner served 6-11pm Tue-Sat
Transport: Tube: Farringdon tube/rail
Price: Both Main courses £15.50-£22.50. Set lunch (Mon-Fri) £21.50 2 courses; (Sun) £22 2 courses, £26 3 courses. Set tea £17-£22
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Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:16
  • 4 star:18
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:11
  • 1 star:10
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2 of 2 found helpful

Only had the brunch here, but it was delicious. Worried the portions were small (for the price) but actually was very satisfying. Loved the cornbread, egg and chorizo. And it was open in the weird period between Christmas and New Year!

Carol Jager
2 of 2 found helpful

I met some friends at The Modern Pantry this afternoon and was pleasantly surprised - really unusual and not a plain doughy scone in sight! Try green tea scones and little pistachio cakes and sandwiches made with interesting breads - so nice to get something different. I could have done with it being a bit cosier as we sat at a communal table but on the whole a really good experience.

2 of 2 found helpful

Great place for brunch. I had the seafood pancake which was delicious and the coffee is pretty good to. It's a little pricey and the service is not incredible but I definitely go again.

2 of 2 found helpful

Loved The Modern Pantry! Met a friend for brunch, and the food and coffee was delicious. The decor is very homey feeling and really comortable. Staff were friendly and helpful. Will definitely be going back!

2 of 2 found helpful

I organised a Sunday brunch at the restaurant for 11 people. The occasion was my boyfriend's birthday. Everyone thought the place looked lovely, especially when the morning sun was shining onto the large trays of sweet bakeries on the white tables. Most of the food was excellent too! From the sweet pastries and the granola-müsli to the full English breakfast, it was all delicious. However, the pancakes I ordered weren't really pancakes, but more like sponges, very heavy and slightly flavourless. And my friend ordered a passion fruit smoothie that was more like a milkshake! Luckily she was able to exchange it with a black current smoothie (that had no milk in it). We were served by a number of staff, most of which were very friendly, though some must have woken up on the wrong side of their bed! Never mind, we all had a lovely brunch!

2 of 2 found helpful

Went to the upper floor for dinner on last saturday and was overall very satisfied with the food - the pork belly was perfectly cooked and compared favourably well with the ones I had at the OXO tower restaurant, Roast or the the Luxe in Spitafields. In contrast to the comments below, our (American?) waitress was top notch: I found the service approachable, helpful and knowledgeable, which suggests that they've fixed any problems that might have been experienced in the past. I was pleasantly surprised, and will definitely return.

2 of 2 found helpful

What an evening - went based on the Time Out review and had a good read through all the comments below and other online reviews before turning up. We did not have a reservation but the Maitre'd was accommodating and had the four of us seated within 15 minutes - acceptable given no reservation and it was 8pm on a Friday. The service and food was brilliant and I thought the portions were reasonable. I would recommend if fusion is your thing.

1 of 1 found helpful

Cant quite believe what I read. The Modern Pantry has made me brunches (this is their forte) on 4 or 5 occassions and each time it has been brilliant with service to match... I'm inclined to let the knockers knock the place so I can always get a table!!!

1 of 1 found helpful

Wow, what negative reviews! My partner and I had a fantastic lunch there just a few months ago and loved the entire experience. We thought that the food scored very highly both on flavour and appearance. It was reasonably pricey but not outrageously so. In fact, we enjoyed it so much we have booked up to go back there again in December. I shall report back.

1 of 1 found helpful

Having been to the Pantry restaurant on a few occasions, I can understand many of the comments left below. The 'cakeage' charge fiasco described by one visitor is incredible and reviewers are right in suggesting that the portions aren't large enough, particularly where the breakfasts are concerned. But this is a Tale of Two Pantries because round the side of the building is a little room where you can get takeaway lunches and coffee. This is a real gem. The coffee is the best I've had in London - it leaves Monmouth Coffee in the dust - and although the Pantry gets its beans from nearby Caravan, the coffee at the latter is not as good for some reason. Furthermore, the cakes are delicious and always inventive, from beetroot muffins to pastries topped with mojito icing. The staff who man this part of the operation are really lovely too.

1 of 1 found helpful

The negative reviews are a bit surprising. We turned up for a very late lunch this Sunday and had a great meal (around £20 each for 2 dishes including service). My main course of rabbit was excellent, my partner's vegetarian stack was also very good. An inexpensive wheat beer rounded off the experience nicely. Followed up by a great coffee at St Ali around the corner.


Great ingrédients, well prepared, set in the lovely St John's square - oh and bakery attached !


We got lucky with the nice weather to find a table outside for dinner.

The menu is sophisticated but not too much and it is really hard to make a choice as everything sounds pretty good.

To try most of the menu, we decided with my friend to take 3 starters to share and a side, and each of us took a dessert – we can’t fight against the sweet tooth.

Describe what I ate won’t be any help as the menu is changing quite often and just changed, a few days after our visit.

The dishes are taking inspiration from a bit everywhere, but all are realised perfectly. The flavours are all going well together, this is a really great balance between sweet and bitter etc...

The dessert I took was really nice, a sesame and lemon cheesecake with black sesame paste and tile, but the one my friend took was a bit deceiving, especially because it was chocolate and this is a bit of a crime to fail a chocolate dessert!

Fortunately, they change the menu, and I hope the new chocolate dessert is much better!

This is a really nice place for dinner more than for lunch as the bill is a bit salty for a casual lunch.

Chia-wen L

Salad take out was AMAZING! I had a lovely piece of salmon with all the salads on the day. They are so many variety and favours. Crunchy, minty, sweet and vinegary all worked so well together. A perfect filling and not boring lunch on a nice summer day!

Tara P

What a beautiful place for a sunny Sunday brunch. The queue for an outdoor table wasn't as long as you might expect, and the staff were very courteous while you were waiting - which often isn't the case elsewhere. The menu was impressive and varied, with some unusual options beyond the traditional eggs on toast. I had a jasmine and mint iced tea which was delicious and refreshing. The main of fried eggs on cornbread, served with chorizo and a sweetcorn and avocado salsa, was beautifully presented and had the taste to match. It was fresh, interesting, and had a wonderful mixture of textures. My one complaint is that is was only lukewarm when it reached me - this is where Modern Pantry loses a star. But overall, a wonderful place to spend a sunny morning in London and I foresee many a happy hour spent here.

Staff WriterStaff Comp

Great lunch or breakfast venue. I used to work in the area and would often go for a breakfast or lunch meeting. Beautifully light with a small terrace at the front of the restaurant which is wonderful on a sunny day. Great food with interesting combinations of ingredients and tastes.

Lila R

Absolutely delicious brunch served with one of the best coffees I've had in London. A big table of us was served efficiently by friendly staff. And, although perhaps a minor point, the way that they split the bill for large parties is a brilliant idea!

Danny H

Great for a brunch on a Sunday morning. A little overpriced, but the place has a great atmosphere and really good food, so definitely worth a trip if you're feeling a little hungover at the weekend!

Alanna S

Lovely afternoon tea for a friend's birthday. Great surroundings on a old cobbled street, we stuck around of a while after trying out the cocktails. Perfect place for a girly afternoon!

Janis G

A beautiful and bright dining venue with fabulous brunch menu. We've been there twice on each of our last two trips to London from San Francisco.

Jackie e

Warmth and cool in equal measure. Great outdoor space for summer lunch, genuinely different food and lovely people.

Tracy L

I have been eating at The Modern Pantry since 2009 and, having been fortunate enough to have eaten in some of the most amazing restaurants all over the world, this remains my absolute favourite! If you come here for breakfst or brunch, the food is amazing, but it's quite a different place in the evenng to come for dinner. Breakfast is simple but beautifully executed, from the homemade bread to the homemade muesli or boiled eggs and marmite soldiers. The menu at dinner is always incredible with lots of unusual ingredients you may never have even heard of but, whatever you order, every mouth watering bite will be incredible, and Anna Hansen and her team have never failed to impress and delight me in my 6 years or so of dining there as frequently as I can.

Staff Writer

Love this place for breakfast. You'll definitely need to book ahead.

Lisa S

Great for breakfast. Lovely food for lunch and dinner but very slow service.

Daniel L

I found myself here on a lovely and sunny Sunday afternoon, the perfect setting for a casual brunch. I am glad I chose to spend it here. The dishes are inventive and are mainly asian-influenced fusion dishes. Bold flavours are mixed in a way that you would not always imagine, and overall they come off perfectly. The sambal prawn omelette and the sashimi are both excellent. Other tables had the tea set (with three tiers of confectionary and cute little tea pots and cups) which did look good as well. Maybe next time!

Niamh H

Afternoon tea here was a total delight - great service and really different take on afternoon tea that focussed on flavours rather than just silly gimmick afternoon teas that seem to be doing the rounds right now. Each item on the menu was full of flavours and little surprises - liqourice jam etc...and savoury scones made a welcome change. I'll be back.

Howard S

This has to by favourite place to start the weekend, sat outside, soaking up the sun, great coffee, i usually have the omelette, so tasty, great kick with the chillies 


Great brunch spot - be sure to get there early and snap up one of the hazelnut or almond croissants! It's a bit busy but worth it.

T Pp


0 of 1 found helpful

After booking a table well in advance and travelling from the other side of London to get there, with a small child, we were left VERY disappointed! Yes it was a busy day but we waited for almost an hour for our food, with absolutely no apology from our very dismissive waitress either. When the food came out mine was quite obviously and extensively burnt underneath but our waitress disappeared pronto and by this point we were so hungry that I ate around the burnt part, paid up and left. Never to return (obviously!) There are so many great restaurants out there, this however is not one of them! SERIOUSLY AVOID!!!

0 of 1 found helpful

We had our Christmas party here and while the design and decor is fantastic and the waitress in our private dining room was very attentive (although not at all cheery), the food really lets the place down and is a real shame. I would expect that people who have put so much effort into making the place look so beautiful would not let the food be of this poor standard. Even if we did have the £35 set menu, I would expect properly sized portions, otherwise create a different menu where you get the same margins and your customers get properly sized portions. I have never seen such small pieces of duck, even if it is for a starter and smoked salmon served on tiny dishes just looked ridiculously measly. Those colleagues who I have asked what they thought, have said they would have expected better and were unimpressed and uninspired by the mains too. I've since spoken to a friend who had their Christmas party there a couple of years ago and she thought the same with the added poor fortune of having private dining that wasn't private, with people continuously walking through to another room. Luckily our room was very private and we had a very fun night but that was more down to the playlist we'd made for the ipod in our private dining room rather than the food. A real shame and from reading the other reviews, it seems like it is a continuous problem. Sort your food out, you've got a great location and great building but it is a restaurant - make the food as impressive as the decor!

0 of 1 found helpful

Modern Pantry definitely deserves its place on the 'Best Breakfasts' list. I've ben a couple of times and even though I always have the boiled egg with Vegemite soldiers, I reckon the rest of the menu will be just as good! The interior is great, too. Simple, airy and elegant.

Liz ferguson
0 of 1 found helpful

I see there are some bad reviews about The Pantry. However, I enjoyed stopping off at The Pantry for a bite to eat. It might have been different for us, because we only popped in for a sandwich and coffee, so our expectations were probably lower. The food was very tasty, but expensive .. but, we have to allow for another, but .. This is London so we expected to pay more than we would at home. The staff were polite, but not as friendly as at home (home being Northumberland) again, we didn't expect them to be as friendly, city people tend to be busier and coping with more hectic schedules, so don't really have the time to stand and chit chat. I would use The Pantry again, so we obviously enjoyed the food and service .. and I love the building.

0 of 1 found helpful

Everything was ok, the service, food and facility. But it wasn't worth for the price we paid. Fortunately we had a voucher. Our booked table was regrettably upstairs, to move the table downstairs wasn't possible for least one hour. And the bill included the service tip already. Try and find out by our self, but I wouldn't recommend the venue to a friend.

Gillian Harris
0 of 1 found helpful

Bizarre and overpriced: I took my boyfriend to Modern Pantry for his birthday after I had been recommended by a friend, who had also been recommended by a friend. I now know not to trust restaurant reviews I heard through the grape vine. Firstly, it was very difficult to even get a booking so I assumed the restaurant would be very busy. When we arrived the hostess took us upstairs and sat us at the least desirable table in the somewhat shabby dining room - right in the corner beside the staircase door with a draft and even worse right in front of a group of 8 squawking 30 something women getting tipsy on Prosecco and comparing stories about engagement rings and upholstery. The entire front of the room was empty including every seat by the windows. Why we were put in this awkward spot I'm not sure. The drinks and the first course came out in a timely fashion but it was 20 minutes after that until our main courses came. I ordered an omelette and for 10 pounds it was very basic. 2 dry pieces of toast and no garnishes or sides. Now, for the bizarre: after suffering through the sub-par treatment, trying to converse over the liquid infused hens next door, out of the speakers (which had been turned off the entire time we were there) blasts Britney Spears: Oops I did it again. Although at this point in the ordeal it did make us laugh, we won't be going back again (I'm not that innocent).

0 of 1 found helpful

I went to the restaurant for a dinner with a few friends on a quiet weekday evening. After reading some reviews, I did not go there with high expectations. We only order main courses and desserts. They were good portion and tasted really good. However, except the reception girl, the service was appalling. Our waiter was very unattentive. Never fill up our water, and was not friendly. I ordered steak and he did not bother asking me how I wanted it. Luckily the steak turned out amazing. The most ridiculous thing was he gave us our bill without asking us! We were actually going to order some desserts and coffee when he passed us the bill! That was more than rude. The restaurant should definitely train their waiters and waitress!

0 of 1 found helpful

This is possibly the most disappointing place I have been in avery long time. It was a disaster from start to finish and the way staff handled their mistakes was laughable, I suggest a lot more training is needed. We visited on Jubilee weekend on the recommnedation of friends, I thought lets celebrate with a glass of champagne, they served me Prosecco and tried to get away with it, when I challenged the waiter he said he had picked up the wrong glass off the bar, they tried to charge me for a bottle of red wine I did not have, saying it was my fault as I changed my mind, which I had not, our starters to be fair were good, the main courses were something any amateur could put together, it seemed like the chef didn't kow what to do so threw everything in his ingredient cupboard at it in the hope that it would work, sadly it didn't. When it came to paying the bill I asked for service to be removed when I checked my credit card receipt I noted they had left the service on, maybe it was a mistake but to me it seemed like a big con so if you do decide to eat here, then do so at your own peril and make sure you check your bill and ask to see the bottle if you drink anything by the glass.

0 of 1 found helpful

We visited on Good Friday with high expectations. Unfortunately our whole experience was marred by the service or lack of. 40 mins for an omelette is not really on. Our neighbour was served his breakfast before us even though he sat down after our order was taken. When we asked our waiter if our food was going to be long he replied with ' I don't think so' and continued cleaning tables. So we then had to flag down someone else and eventually got our meal. It was then another struggle to ask for the bill and again to pay, eventually having to wave our card in the air until one of the many staff noticed us! There were many staff on the floor although Im not sure what their jobs were as no one seemed to be paying us any attention. We won't be returning, such a shame.

0 of 1 found helpful

Very disappointing experience overall. Service and wine were great I have to say. The house champagne, a Deveaux, was surprisingly cheap and tasted great. Service was also attentive throughout, but the food let the whole experience down. First of all, my starter of salmon sashimi was drenched in vinegar, completely overpowering the fish. On top of that, the salmon pieces looked butchered rather than finely sliced. The main, I had the seabass, came in a completely bland and tasteless sauce and to top it off, i found several fishbones in the fillets. I was not impressed to say the least. They did offer complimentary coffee and tea, but at this level such mistakes on every dish are inexcusable. Not recommended

0 of 1 found helpful

My girlfriend and I ate here the other evening and were very unsatisfied by our dining experience. All of our dishes where either bland or overpowered with one ingredient. This restaurants lacks congruity and most importantly flavor.

0 of 1 found helpful

Service on arrival was bizarre...arrived around 9pm on a Friday night without a reservation and given a "well-this-is-pain-for-me" look from the maitre'd ...shuffling of papers, looking at computer screen, tapping buttons...then led to a room upstairs with a room full of empty they need to think this hard about whether they want our money? Then the food...truly weird concoction of flavours that simply did not work. Salmon sashimi drenched in some juice which totally masked the salmon, a completely tasteless whiting with salsa verde, rabbit enveloped in more spices than necessary. After that we desperately wanted something least the Eton mess tasted like it should. Total price for the meal (with a bottle of wine) was within range for this area, but the reputation of this restaurant in no way matches the food. The table service was excellent....Life is too short for wasted meals like this, donate your money to a charity or go elsewhere.

0 of 1 found helpful

i was given pointless warning that my omlette would be quite wet i..e soft/runny in the middle, that was my hope however it was overcooked and very disappointing. The crab salad lacked enough crab and the flavours all clashed rendering the pea shoots totally unable to be tasted. The cooked breakfasts look great but really i was expecting more; i don't imagine the proprietor was cooking on that day...

0 of 1 found helpful

Tried Modern Pantry a couple of times because Time Out give it such a good rating. But overall it's dreadful. Food is lacklustre and the service even worse. I ordered poached eggs once and only one egg arrives. I asked what happened to my other egg and the waiter didn't seen to understand. He eventually asked me if I wanted another egg, then went and got one, bought it back on a plate and slapped it on the table. I asked him if the eggs normally come as a duo and he said yes, he thought so.

0 of 1 found helpful

Three of us went here last night and were nothing but disappointed. The only thing going for the place is that they have a fantastic menu writer - everything on the menu sounded amazing, but what actually arrived on the plate was either as bland as a bowl of weet-a-bix or just plain wrong (in fact one of the diners went as far as to say "disgusting!" Not really the desired outcome at 20 quid a dish). The chef is obviously more concerned with ensuring that the menu appears to have Pacific/NZ flavours in it than actually tasting good, or being edible. Have read plenty of good reviews about this place, but most are dated 2009. It must have let its standards slip a loooong way. To be fair - interiors are nice as were our cocktails and wine. Service and bathrooms, matched the food.

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