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Seven years after opening the acclaimed Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell, Anna Hansen has created this Finsbury Square sibling – also dedicated to sophisticated fusion food. It’s an attractive spot, housed in the Georgian Alphabeta Building: all high ceilings, arched windows and whitewashed walls. A stand-alone 20-seater tapas bar at the front is ideal for globally inspired lunchtime bites or late-night snacks: plump, proud seared scallop with burnt shallot purée, perhaps. A notable selection of sherries adds liquid allure. Rob McLeary runs the kitchen, producing an all-day menu inspired by Hansen’s travels and Kiwi roots. To start, smoky burrata salad was offset by sweet golden beetroot and pickled greengages, dotted with crunchy toasted buckwheat. Equally pleasing was a dhansak-spiced rose veal mince omelette: the sweet meat enveloped by rich orange eggs. A main course of squid-ink battered Cornish cod looked striking, the black casing hiding tender white flesh, perfect for dunking in the crab mayo. For pud, dark chocolate fondant was exoticised by stout and caraway-seed ice cream and a cocoa chilli wafer: a great advert for fusion cooking. The wine list is similarly wide-ranging, offering Italian, Kiwi and Californian sips. Rich pickings for City folk, then, who raid this Modern Pantry.
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