We entered The Modern Pantry via the side door, through the informal cafe and were escorted upstairs to the modern quirky dining rooms, with their designer lampshades and wooden floors which in conjunction with our wobbly table introduced a strange bouncy effect when any one walked by.
As expected the food was imaginative, combining unexpected ingredients to enhance the flavours.
There is a separate charge of £2.60 for the bread, but that makes sense as the bread here is not the boring options provided by most restaurants. The aniseed bread in particular was a real winner.
I started with the the New Caledonian prawn omelette with green chilli, spring onion and smoked chilli sambal, the combination of the sweet prawns and chilli was stunning, making it the best tasting and interesting omelette I have ever had, a dish that if I made a return visit I would struggle not to order again.
My companion ordered the king scallops with Jerusalem artichoke mash, a tasty dish that was unfortunately spoilt by some grit in the scallops.
For main course I had the lamb rump with curry leaf besam chips and curly kale. The chips were great, less so the curly kale which rather dominated the plate. This dish though was served with a quite lovely 1999 Urbina Rioja.
My companion had the roast cod with chorizo and squid ink mash, a terrific dish that successfully combined some very strong flavours without overpowering the cod.
We finished with the pumpkin and gingernut cheese cake with mulled wine sorbet and the eggnog bread and butter pudding, both rather festive choices.
All in all despite a couple of flaws, this is fusion food that really works. We had a very enjoyable meal in a venue I would be happy to return too.
With the Modern Pantry and Bruno Loubets at the Zetter, St Johns Square, Clerkenwell is a developing into quite a foodie enclave, which can only be a good thing.
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