The Modern Pantry

Restaurants

Delis

Farringdon

  • Mid-range
  • The Modern Pantry

    Britta Jaschinski / Time Out

    The Modern Pantry
  • The Modern Pantry

    Britta Jaschinski / Time Out

    The Modern Pantry
  • The Modern Pantry

    Alys Tomlinson / Time Out

    The Modern Pantry
  • The Modern Pantry

    Britta Jaschinski / Time Out

    The Modern Pantry
  • The Modern Pantry

    Britta Jaschinski / Time Out

    The Modern Pantry
  • The Modern Pantry

    Ed Marshall / Time Out

    The Modern Pantry
  • The Modern Pantry

    Tricia de courcy ling

    The Modern Pantry
  • The Modern Pantry

    Alys Tomlinson / Time Out

    The Modern Pantry
  • The Modern Pantry

    Britta Jaschinski / Time Out

    The Modern Pantry

The Modern Pantry

Britta Jaschinski / Time Out

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Venue details

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  • Address:

    The Modern Pantry 47-48 St John's Square
    London
    EC1V 4JJ

  • Venue phone:

    020 7553 9210

  • Venue website:

    www.themodernpantry.co.uk

  • 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

  • Map

    1. The Modern Pantry

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

2.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:10
  • 1 star:9
LiveReviews|34
10 people listening
debbie i

We came to London last week and were looking forward to enjoying the afternoon tea at the Modern Pantry.  We booked on-line several days before,  Unfortunately, when we arrived at the restaurant we were informed (in a rude and very snooty fashion) that the afternoon tea was not available... When we informed the staff that we had booked in advance on line, we were told that on-line doesn't count!!! Only by phoning in advance can one book the afternoon tea.... If on-line doesn't count why do you have that option on your site??? If you aren't interested in serving tourists and visitors who come to your fair city-mention this specifically on your site "Tourists aren't welcome" We most definitely will never, EVER even try to eat at your restaurant!! 

Katharine

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!

Pip

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!

Tom

It’s probably just easiest if I do a good and bad list for this place: Bad - Having to use the ‘side entrance’ to get in via a narrow corridor when one of our party required easy access - Arriving via this side entrance to be told by the miserable waiter that we had to speak to ‘the woman at the desk’. The desk on the opposite side of the restaurant. The one near the actual entrance which wasn’t being used. Yeah, smart move that one, which genius thought this one up? - Having to wait nearly 15mins for a table we had reserved - Being seated against a coat rack and then having to spend part of our meal ducking out of the way as people reached over us to get their coats - Waiting nearly 10 mins before having to then ask a waiter for the drinks menu - Getting a ‘Japanese’ bloody mary that was just watery tomato juice with a few peppercorns in and a dirty piece of celery - Ordering from the menu that was supposedly for ‘Saturday 7th December’ (it was printed on the top) and being told that the breakfast I wanted wasn’t available. How so? If the menu is for today how can one of the main items be missing? - Having to wait nearly 45 minutes for our meal to come out - A watery poached egg and the puddle it created on my plate - My meal turning up missing the plantain chips and dressed with some limp, dirty herbs that looked like they’d been left on the side for 2 days - Having to stop a waiter to ask for another drink Good - Nice eggs - Nice bread Summary: - Terrible service - Awful Japanese mary - Half decent food (good ingredients at least) Very overrated. All those who have written great reviews about the breakfast haven’t lived!

Buyse

Afternoon tea is original and delicate but far less attractive than in more traditional places. Service is OK. One could expect more for the price paid. Not the sort of place one is impatient to return to.

Lauren

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.

Jane

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.

Carol Jager

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.

Abbey

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.

Liz ferguson

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.

Dazza V

We had dinner here... Food was bland, the service was impersonal (the snooty waiter may as well have thrown the food at us), the atmosphere was drab and it was way overpriced for what it was. Really cannot see what all the fuss is about. Would not recommend this place to anyone.

Jo

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!

Andi

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

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).

Gillian Harris

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).

Jennifer

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!

Ghislain

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.

Janice

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!

Phil

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.

Gabrielle

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.

Marcus

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.

Mike

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!!!

Dave

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

steve

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.

Tony

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.

ka

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.

AG

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.

Jimo

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 tables...do 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 ordinary...at 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.

paulh

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...

Paul

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.

Michael

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.

Abi

I recently attended a birthday lunch at Modern Pantry on 6th March. We were a party of 15 and booked at extremely short notice. The restaurant was very accommodating and attentive to all the guests including my 17 month son. But sadly, the entire occasion was marred with the addition of a "cakeage" fee. The birthday girl's sister had made two large cakes for the lunch and we asked if we could serve these desserts. We were told that this was no problem for a "cakeage" fee. None of the guests had ever heard of the charge but presumed that it would be akin to a small corkage - so we were happy to pay. It was only when we received the bill that we found out that this amounted to £30 per cake! To say we were astounded is to be polite. When we enquired why this charge was so high we were told that it was on the arrogant assumption that all diners would spend money on dessert. So not satisfied with patrons paying almost £50 per head the establishment felt they had to levy this farcical charge as well. I have never been to a restaurant which applies this fee (and at such a level). Furthermore, not one person at the table had ever experienced the fee either. Nor is there any mention of the charge on the Modern Pantry website Perhaps all 15 guests were unseasoned and raw gastronauts? And this was an usual feature at London venues. But googling the words "cakeage london restaurant" brings scant results - maybe one or two places. It is not often that I find myself angry enough to complain but I decided to make an exception in this case. I would hope that Time Out will publicise this outrageous arrangement.

Valeria

We visited the cafe for a late lunch on a Saturday and left very disappointed about the entire experience. The waiter looked hangover and in bad need to shower her hair; when taking our orders, she forgot the coffee and my husband main course arrived without the meat on the plate! My eggs were seriously over cooked but decided not to say anything as we just wanted to have our lunch and leave. Shame they could not leave up to your review!