Time Out says
Please note, chef Anna Hansen is no longer at The Modern Pantry. Time Out Food editors, June 2019.
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.
47-48 St John's Square
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Users say (73)
Average User Rating
3.5 / 5
- 5 star:23
- 4 star:23
- 3 star:4
- 2 star:11
- 1 star:12
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
My fave place for brunch after the gym. It's always so good and even better if u get a table outside in the sun. BLISS!
I had been to the Modern Pantry before and was impressed. It was my sister's hen do so thought it would be a nice place to start our day. How wrong I was. The waitress was rude - it was like she was doing us a favour. The Modern Pantry seemed grubby, the floor dirty and there is a small bar area where a few rough looking guys were handing out. The tea itself was so disappointing - tasteless, not fresh, un-appetitsing to say the least. I have been to tea at various other venues and they always top up your tea and often top up sandwiches and cakes.
When the bill came we didn't feel the service charge was worthy @ nearly £50 and declined to pay it. Then (for some strange reason) we had the full attention of the waitress! She made a huge full and physically made us go up to the till with her - she was saying we still owed the tip and got quite aggressive. The manager then come over to try and assess the situation. The waitress then stood behind us rolling her eyes and making rude facial expressions - the manager had to ask her to step away from the situation. The manager took the tip off the bill but wasn't very gracious and didn't really apologise.
I'm all up for tipping (my husband is a London taxi driver) but surely the service must warrant the tip and it not be expected.
I definitely won't be going back.
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!
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!
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.
Warmth and cool in equal measure. Great outdoor space for summer lunch, genuinely different food and lovely people.
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.
Great airy, bright venue which has become too popular for its own good - need to book well in advance. Main meals are quite pricey so opt for brunch or afternoon tea. Excellent execution of dishes with unusual flavours added. http://londonfoodiemama.tumblr.com/
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.
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.
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!