Getting to the Modern Pantry from Fulham on a Sunday morning is no mean feat. After the Piccadilly line, the walk from Holborn to Clerkenwell is long, and through a less picturesque part of London. One of grey, nondescript buildings, busy roads, shabby corner shops. And then suddenly you pass the Zetter Townhouse and get to St John Square: so pretty, so homely. The Clerkenwell I love.
The Modern Pantry is hard to miss: a brick townhouse, with pots of bright red geraniums resting on dark grey window sills, and a large, green terrace. Inside is all clean lines, greys and whites, with an elegant, feminine feel. It is overwhelmingly suitable for brunch.
And so, after having been meaning to eat here for years now, I met a friend for brunch on a gloomy Sunday morning. Two flat whites and a dish of Cornbread, chorizo, fried eggs, charred sweet corn, avocado and red pepper salsa later, I was feeling pretty happy. It’s hard to choose what you want here, because everything on the menu sounds interesting, or at least different. It’s not your usual ‘smashed avocado on toast’. It’s fusion food – that overused term which few restaurants can actually get right – but where the Modern Pantry triumphs. British food fused with the rest of the world, especially, it seemed to me, with the Middle East and Asia.
I will have to go back for their pandan waffles, which was my second choice, but which when it came by looked so divine I almost ordered it for desert. Then told myself that brunch doesn’t need a pudding. But, looking back, perhaps it does here.
47-48 St John’s Square
London EC1V 4JJ
Photos The Modern Pantry’s own, the Instagram photo mine.