This tall brick warehouse can’t fail to impress as you enter St John’s Square. It is home to contemporary yet rustic restaurant The Modern Pantry, run by New Zealander Anna Hansen and her team. The Modern Pantry is a unique, chameleon-like venue, suitable for anything from a morning coffee to an indulgent three-course dinner with cocktails.
On the night we visited, The Modern Pantry was alive with the chatter of people sitting on the terrace enjoying a drink in the evening sun. We passed into the bar area, at once absorbing the cosmopolitan ambience, before ascending the staircase to the dining rooms, where we pounced on the evening menu. This comprised a diverse, daring and creative fusion of flavours from all over the globe. It helpfully suggested wines by the glass to accompany each dish, while also offering many by the bottle.
The pan-fried cod was the highlight of the evening for me. Delicately fried with a hint of coriander, it was served in an exciting mussel and orange dressing. The Modern Pantry’s inspired menu offers everything from Persian-spiced root vegetables to miso and tamarind-marinated onglet steak, and this, along with the unpretentious atmosphere, makes it the kind of place you could return to again and again. You can even cook up some of the restaurant’s great cuisine at home, thanks to Anna’s book, The Modern Pantry Cookbook.