The Modern Pantry
It’s a good start: Modern Pantry sits on Clerkenwell’s golden triangle of London restaurants with Bistrot Bruno and Giant Robot (see separate entries). It’s also thoroughly modern, and as if the grey-painted brick, shiny copper lampshades, melamine tables and smiley, good-looking staff were imagined by Wallpaper’s style fascists – this place is not luxurious (now deemed a good thing), and is innately chic. So are its customers, who tend to be youngish and open-minded – no traditionalist would dare the menu’s unusual flavours. Named one of The Daily Telegraph’s top five female chefs of the decade, as well as New Zealander of the Year 2010 (the nation that invented the tricky fusion genre) is its accomplished chef/owner Anna Hansen, who can be seen at the pass every day preparing what only she describes as ‘everyday cooking’. Her ‘everyday’ is our ‘exciting’: Duke of Berkshire pork cheeks come with crispy trotter, tonka beans and pickled bean sprouts; chorizo, date and feta fritters with rose yoghurt. Conservative eaters should try the chic downstairs cafe for great take away salads, and, on a Friday, its famous fish and chips. See – she can even do the trad stuff.