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The Modern Pantry Clerkenwell

Fusion, International·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of The Modern Pantry Clerkenwell

Silver Award

This townhouse eatery is a place of two halves, with a buzzy ground-floor café/traiteur and a serene upstairs dining room with clean-lined contemporary decor. Breakfast and brunch are popular shouts, although the kitchen delivers “tremendously flavoursome food from start to finish”. Aubergine dengaku is a Japanese favourite, served with pickled mushrooms, while other dishes take a more European approach – a salad of buffalo mozzarella, roasted fennel and roasted peach, perhaps. After that, expect a riot of flavours: chermoula-infused sea trout comes with pea and yuzu purée, onglet steak gets its oomph from miso and tamarind, and pavlova comes fired up with Asian flavours. As expected, the wine list is a fascinating globetrotting compendium.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Fusion, International
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Brunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Group dining [8+]
Food Hygiene Rating

Location for The Modern Pantry Clerkenwell

47-48 St John's Square, Farringdon, London, EC1V 4JJ

020 7553 9210


Opening Times

Mon-Fri 8-11am 12N-10.30pm Sat-Sun 9am-4pm 6-10pm

Reviews of The Modern Pantry Clerkenwell

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13 Reviews 

Jacquelyn W

04 February 2018  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 3
Ricotta pancake for a chilly day
I had breakfast here and ordered my all-time favourite - pancakes. Theirs was a ricotta pancake with berry and liquorice compote and Neal’s Yard Dairy crème fraiche. The pancake was crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The ricotta was delightfully creamy and smooth, which complemented perfectly with the berry and liquorice compote. The crème fraiche added an extra oomph to the overall flavours and made every bite blissfully divine.

Sophie N

09 May 2017  
Food is beautifully presented. Great decor with large amounts of natural light. Great in the Summer.

Sabina P

07 June 2016  
Food, drink and service are all second to none. It's round the corner from our office and I try to find any excuse to go there. It's perfect for a quick grab & go lunch, dinner or meetings. It has a holiday abroad feel, whilst overlooking the historical St John courtyard and historic area. Devine!


26 February 2016  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
good but
There are quite a few restaurants around here so I am never quite sure why The Modern Pantry is always so busy. Whilst the food , service and ambience and value for money are always good , I don't know any other eatery where the tables are so close to each other. Once I am sat down on a bench ,and wedged in by a table , I feel trapped until someone moves. And , as it's all Media , don't even think of talking about business unless you have pre-arranged codes. I had what I always have , the cereal and yogurt with pomegranate shavings - very good indeed. I just wish didn't always feel so trapped.

Rebecca L

02 December 2015  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 2.5
Reasonably good but not quite worth the price
I enjoyed my evening at Modern Pantry. Some of the food - especially the venison scotched eggs with a green pepper salsa were delicious. My main of venison was decent but I felt the portion was quite small which not something I think I've complained about before. My boyfriend's main, a laksa dish, was huge in comparison but he said it really lacked depth.The truffles we had for dessert were again decent but nothing special. Service was fine but nothing to write home about. For £65 a head I wasn't blown away. The restaurant itself is really gorgeous, especially the upstairs. It has quite an intimate feel to it. Would I return? Yes but not in a hurry.

Helen L

13 April 2015  
Food & Drink 2.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 3
Style over substance
Oh, Modern Pantry. The injustice. The cocktails were brilliant, with none of that twee, sugary nonsense. Instead, a reviving assortment heavy on earthy, botanical negronis and salty, sour martinis. And I was genuinely excited by the Saturday brunch menu, in all its cornbread and sambal-toting glory. Waffle with longons, you say? Yes please (that is, assuming that longons are just jumped-up lardons, which it transpires they are not). The plate arrived looking positively Narnian, with its ethereal dusting of icing sugar on a branch of lychee-esque fruit. But one question: how to eat it, without your fingers being papier-mached together by a goo of molten syrup and sweet fairy dust? My other half abandoned hope, and resorted to a post-brunch scotch egg at a nearby pub. Harrumph. This was the problem - everything was a bit under par. eggs Shakshuka, that treasured Ottolenghi staple, was under par; with squash-ball solid yolks and whole, untempered spices. A plantain fritter looked suspiciously like… well, just a hunk of fried banana. Yuzu hollandaise was a bit of a taste sensation, and not necessarily in a good way. Servers rocked man buns and alternative trouser lengths/shoe and sock combos. The place had a confident, trendy aesthetic that was just on the right side of contrived. Each peculiar, converted period room upstairs boasted walls decorated with art to buy, and a jaunty mismatch of furniture and crockery. It looked good, and initially appeared pitch perfect for its Clerkenwellian audience. But the kitchen simply couldn’t deliver the inspired dishes that flirted with brilliance within the confines of the printed menu only. (Mind you, the place was rammed from morning til afternoon tea, so I’m not sure I’m a reliable witness). In short, the food wasn’t up to scratch, and I don’t think we’d bother with second chances in this instance. Shame, as rendang for breakfast is pretty much culinary bliss.

Joanne W

16 December 2013  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
A super brunch
A great buzzy place for brunch, the menu had some really great options and everuthing was super tasty. Thank you also to the staff who were really friendly and helpful!

Tim H

08 September 2013  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 3
A good night out...
Really tasty food. Service was great. Will return…

Jill E

27 April 2013  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
A very memorable place. Its not often I come across restaurants that I like so much, I enjoyed every aspect of the visit. They are inspired. The hosting staff offer welcoming assistance.I booked a reservation online and was given a wonderful upstairs table, the rooms are beautiful and sunny, huge windows, beautiful colours on the walls, lovely wood floors, friendly knowledgeable servers, and an inspired menu, and really pretty spacious loos too! As a vegetarian I was thrilled with my menu options . The liquorice salad was sublime and devine!! Its a must try. Delicate dancing flavours, perfect balance, textures, …loved every bit of it. Roast butternut squash with couscous and dates and cashews was really rich and perfectly cooked, creamy and lush and exciting, huge portion, could not finish it all. No pudding, just lunch. And a glass or the deeelish billecart bubbly. A perfect Friday afternoon.

Ella Y

08 April 2012  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4.5
I took my partner to The Modern Pantry for his birthday as we’d wanted to go for a while. The Grade II listed building made me feel like I’d stepped back in time and was eating in an aristocrats town house. Saying that the staff were welcoming and the restaurant was elegantly laid out. The menu was extremely enticing as we both struggled to pick a starter as all the dishes sounded appetising. Being greedy we shared three starters: Chorizo scotch quail eggs, smoked duck and waffles with seaweed. Each dish had several flavours tickling the taste buds. Some may say too many, but we thought they’d got it just right. My only criticism with the starters were that they were a little cold, (which I noticed another reviewer mentioned). For the mains we went for the venison and seasonal lamb. We were both impressed as the flavours were divine and you had big pieces of meat but you were paying reasonable prices – we expected to pay a lot more. I opted for the cheese and biscuits after and had a good mix of hard and soft cheeses, whilst my partner had the ginger pudding – no ordinary ginger pudding as other flavours challenged your taste buds with this dish. I see The Modern Pantry changes the menu daily and we would go back again. The cold starters were a shame but the friendly staff, ambitious menu and thoroughly enjoyable evening makes you overlook these little niggles.

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