25 Mar 2011
Anna Hansen has a well established reputation in London as a top chef, known for her trademark flair for combining different flavours in an innovative, fusion style. Her Clerkenwell restaurant, The Modern Pantry has long been on my list of restaurants to visit. Fortunately a friend’s birthday brunch managed to speed up the process in getting me there!
As usual, I began my brunch with the obligatory flat white, while perusing the menu.
Decor was a mix of shabby chic with a contemporary edge. Large black and white photographs of various cities adorned the walls, and a large mirror lay against the wall, behind our table. It felt very pleasant and created the perfect atmosphere for a lazy, weekend brunch.
As to what to order, my mind was made up pretty quickly when I spied the sugar cured prawn omelette. This is famous for being one of Hansen’s signature dishes, and my friends who had tried it before had raved about it. Rather disappointingly, I found it a bit lacklustre. The teeny, tiny splodge of sambal provided just wasn’t enough to create an impact, so it mostly felt like I was just eating an omelette with sweet prawns.
My neighbour seemed to really enjoy her dish of tea smoked salmon and poached eggs. I was allowed to sample a bit and was instantly quite envious! A very nice balance was struck between strong, smoky salmon and perfectly cooked eggs.
Service seemed to be a little unattentive. I would have liked to have asked for more sambal with my dish but after our waitress brought our dishes, she seemed to disappear for a very long time. When we’d finished our meal, a number of us were still hungry and would have liked to have ordered dessert or some other dish, but again we were left sitting for rather a long time so eventually gave up.
I left feeling like I hadn’t managed to fully experience The Modern Pantry in the manner in which it was intended. Some elements of our brunch had been good, and some not so good. For now I’m going to chalk it up as an off day, and will be be giving them another try tonight when I visit The Modern Pantry at Meza pop up, which I am very much looking forward to. Fingers crossed!
The Modern Pantry
47-48 St. John’s Square