The Modern Pantry Cafe Bar information

For an informal meal with fine dining standards try the cafe bar on the ground floor of The Modern Pantry Cafe Bar. There is even an adjoining shop in which you can purchase The Modern Pantry's food in the form of ready meals to take home.

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours
Mon 08:00-22:00
Tue-Fri 08:00-23:00
Sat 09:00-23:00
Sun 10:00-22:00

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The Modern Pantry Cafe Bar reviews

By Howard S.

Almost year has past since the sun disappeared but on its return it's time for breakfast outside and the sight of Long Black coffee on the menu means your in Clerkenwell home to the best coffee in London and also for breakfast which is why just gone 11am and they are turning people away!

By Howard S.

The search for a good breakfast is over! Just like waiting for the sun to come out this summer, it's been a while. I had the omelette, which excellent depth of flavour, outstanding coffee, and great service, sat outside, apparently your meant to ask before being shown to your table, put trying telling that to my wife, also asked if we had booked, but my wife just asked for coffees. Get there before 10am otherwise you will be queuing. Another great place in Clerkenwell for breakfast, that's it I'm just going to have to move hear!

By Miss M.

Our table of four dedicated foodies celebrated our annual pre Christmas dinner here. It was sublime. The welcome, decor, service and menu were superb. The food was outstanding, intriguing, delicious and generous in equal measures. Would highly recommed and will be returning!

By Roxane B.

I love The Modern Pantry Cafe Bar nestled in the heart of Clerkenwell. Both the interior and the food are great!


Expect a fusion of exotic, obscure and traditional ingredients from around the world at the refined and stylish Modern Pantry Cafe Bar.

The Venue
Housed in a converted Georgian building in cobbled St John’s Square, The Modern Pantry looks quietly impressive from the outside. Opened by chef and owner Anna Hansen last year, there is a dining room upstairs and a ground floor cafe, which is breezy and light, with heritage-grey walls, copper lamps and white furniture. A long bench runs down the length of the room, with smaller tables by the windows. It has a very carefully put-together feel, so even the slightly chipped paintwork looks deliberate.

The Atmosphere
The Modern Pantry attracts a smart, affluent crowd of well-heeled Clerkenwell types and City workers, mainly thirty-plus friends, couples and grown-up family groups. The atmosphere is refined and relaxed, but a bit bland and lacking in real warmth. Staff are very attentive and willing to offer suggestions, and each course arrives quickly.

The Food
The menu here changes often and the ingredients are a mixture of seasonal produce mingled with pantry-shelf spices and seasonings from all over the world. For example: gooseberries, fennel, figs, mint and fresh fish feature strongly on July’s menu, as well as year-round signature dishes like prawn omelette and grilled onglet steak.

Snacks and small plates range in price from £4 to £16.50. A starter-sized portion of chorizo, lemongrass and chilli steamed mussels will set you back £5.50, and the mussels, served in their shells, are enormous and juicy. Ground chorizo is served on top with a piece of lemongrass, and the sauce is rich and creamy with a meaty, fishy chilli flavour. Feta, gooseberry and mint fritters (£4.80) are crisp and fresh-tasting, with sweet gooseberry and served on a bed of strong variegated purple mint.

For mains, the red mullet with braised fennel (£16.50) is a colourful, light dish; the fish is served whole in its rouged skin, roasted simply so that the flesh is tender, delicately salty and juicy. It’s served with half a braised fennel, which although somewhat brown-looking retains its almost liquorice freshness, and little shimeji mushrooms. The black olive and watercress relish is strong but its zingy, peppery, leafy flavour complements the fish well.

Grilled onglet (£15.50) is served medium rare and again, cooked perfectly; the meat is succulent with a lovely smokey, honeyed flavour from the marinade. It’s a good-sized portion, too, served with curry-leaf and turmeric chips which are actually more like little orange bricks; they’re a bit dry, but full of robust, fragrant spice and crunch. The mustard-leaf, nectarine and chipotle salsa is a sweet, warm foil for the deep flavours.

For pudding, layered ginger jelly with assorted rice toppings (£6.50) is a real treat. Served in a glass, the soft jelly at the bottom is very sweet, with a fiery kick of heat. The creamy rice puddings on top – one sticky, the other very crunchy – are made from both white and black rice, combined with pineapple. Summery blackcurrant and juniper Eton mess (£7) is rich and sharp, with whole berries and chewy, light meringue pieces. It comes with a scoop of translucent green gooseberry and cava sorbet, which tastes tart and refreshing, and a stick of salty pine nut shortbread on top.

The Drink
The wine list here is an enormous global selection ranging in price from £3 to £6.80 a glass, £9.50 to £25 for a carafe, or £14 to £120 for a bottle. The waiters are knowledgeable and happy to advise or recommend wines from the extensive, book-like list. To go with the steak the 2006 Argentinian Malbec (£6.50 a glass) has a rich, jammy, plum-like taste, while the 2008 Abadia Albarino (£6.50 a glass) is a slightly dry white with a zesty, clear flavour which matches seafood and fish well. Dessert wines include the strong Pyrenean Jurancon (£7.50) and bubbly, light, elderflower-tinged Moscato d’Asti (£3.50).

Beers and ciders, including Adnams and Aspalls, are priced at £3.25 to £5; cocktails, influenced by oriental to Brazilian flavours, cost around £9.50 and spirits, liqueurs and digestifs are £2.75 to £8. Still or sparkling water costs £2 a litre.

The Last Word
With a menu combining the exotic and unexpected with high-grade produce, The Modern Pantry Cafe Bar is a great place to come if you want to try something original and special.