The Modern Pantry

Posted by Krista on October 31, 2008
Modern pantry pancakes

The Modern Pantry
47-48 St John’s Square
EC1V 4JJ
Tel: 020 7250 0833

Date of Last Visit: 26 October 2008

The Victims: Bernard, Sarah, Arielle, Rafa, Ana, Brian, Chris, Evelien, Seona, Dennis, Anna, Gustavo, Amanda, Michael, and Michael's girlfriend, whose name escapes me.

The Damage: £25 each

The Background: There are a few things I have an aversion to:
1. Halloween. It's my least favorite holiday. I hate wearing costumes.
2. Saving seats for people who are late in crowded trains, planes, restaurants, etc. where you are constantly asked "Are those seats taken?"
3. Organizing lunch or dinner at a restaurant for anything more than 8 people.
4. Paying the lunch or dinner bill when you have more than 8 people in your party and you haven't organized a set menu.
5. Cats.

Brian and I were planning a leisurely lunch for about 10 people. Well, in fairness, his was the idea, mine was the execution. Somewhere within all of this, I took to my deathbed with fever, while Brian invited some other friends to join our lunch. He left me a voicemail while I was comatose, suggesting as much. I e-mailed him back with the number of the restaurant and told him to please go ahead and change the booking.

He never got that message apparently.

So we're 6 more people than we thought they'd be. Mostly everyone is late. We've got a baby buggy. And The Modern Pantry is not happy with us. At all.

I won't bore you with the rest of the details. It all eventually worked out. But it was all so much more painful that it should have been.

The Food: I had the pancakes with proper American-style crispy bacon and I haven't stopped thinking of them since. Really. They weren't regular pancakes–I believe they were made with semolina. I thought the rocket on the side could use some dressing up, but with a little maple syrup, it all came together. Oddly, but together.

The Loo: Cleaner than a lot of what I've seen. But could still use a regular power-washing.

The Ambiance: Very light and Swedish. Despite Anna Hansen being a Canuckian Kiwi.

The Verdict: I'm going to go back. Alone. You should too. They really could have made a mess out of 16 meals, but they didn't. They got everyone's order right and it all arrived hot and at the same time. (Yes, you would think one should just generally expect this. But you can't now, can you?) 

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3 Responses to “The Modern Pantry”

  1. American in London
    Oct 31, 2008

    Hi Krista,

    I was just returned to the Modern Pantry for dinner last week, and it was good enought that I wondered what their breakfast/lunch menu would be like. So your review comes at the perfect time as far as I’m concerned. I’m glad the service was so good. It was chaotic when only the downstairs cafe was open at the beginning. And proper American (streaky) bacon sounds very appealing. Thanks for sharing, as always.


  2. Jeff (Stonch)
    Nov 02, 2008

    I pass it every day, and I have to say it looks so off putting.


  3. Krista
    Nov 02, 2008

    Alice…yes, I would go back for brunch. I have to say that the service was good in that it was prompt and efficient, but they were definitely not happy with us and it showed. (That being said, we were 16 when they thought we’d be 10 and no, we didn’t want to leave the baby in the buggy in the refrigerated back room.) So I wouldn’t really say the service was “good” because they were a bit more persnickety than I would have hoped.

    Jeff, there are many things in life that are off-putting. Like the Wenlock! I like bacon. The Modern Pantry made good bacon. Sure, everyone there looked vaguely like a Swedish architect, but I like Sweden. And architecture. (And bacon.)



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