Today’s stop is a local venue where we’ve enjoyed dinner, The Modern Pantry. The last time we had dinner here was in January, and we enjoyed it so much that I’m surprised it has taken us so long to return. Surely, this restaurant would give our local roast favorites a challenge!
It was a last minute choice this morning, and when we rang at 11ish for a 1230 reservation, we should have taken note when we were (rather oddly) advised our table was only available until 2pm.
Joining us on the Quest today are Vera, Roland, Oscar, and Darren. The Sunday menu from their website, offering both brunch and lunch, is here. Today’s menu differed a bit, but the sample menu is a good representation of the offerings.
Dishes Ordered: We went for the set menu.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any pictures of the appetizers because the soup arrived before the fritters, and when the fritters arrived, only two orders were delivered. Darren waited another ten minutes for his appetizer.
- Okra, courgette, turmeric, and feta fritters, mango and ginger puree
- Smoky aubergine soup, tahini yogurt, Turkish chili oil
- Poached Guinea Fowl , Plum, Nectarine, and Hijiki relish – served with spiced roast potatoes, carrot and parsnip quinoa, Yorkshire pudding (Vera, Darren, Franc)
- Roast Saddle of Lamb, Smoked Anchovy, and Tomatillo -served with spiced roast potatoes, carrot and parsnip quinoa, Yorkshire pudding (Roland, Oscar)
- Yuzu, lime, kiwi, and green tea sorbet (Vera)
- Gooseberry, Buckwheat, and Oat Crumble, White Chocolate Creme Anglaise (Darren and Roland)
- Spiced apple and raspberry tart, Eton Mess ice cream (Split by Oscar and Franc)
- A selection of cheeses, The Modern Pantry Chutney, Oatcakes (Split by Oscar and Franc)
Observations – collective and individual
- The bill, when it was finally presented, was incorrect. We had been charged the set menu for courses rate with each dessert billed at full price.
- The service sucked. It was neither friendly nor intuitive. (Oscar)
- Yorkshire pudding with the main was fine, but out of place. It should have been presented with a dish that included gravy. (Franc)
- There should have been a beef or pork option (Oscar)
- Excellent selection of local beer (Oscar, Roland, Darren)
- The Aubergine soup was OK – nothing special (Oscar)
- It took them ten minutes to bring mustard, had I waited for it, my lunch would have gone cold. (Oscar)
- I liked the food (Vera)
- Oscar and Darren didn’t like the gravel (aka: cous cous), but I really liked it (Franc)
- The venue is sparsely decorated, and as there’s nothing to absorb the sound, it is surprisingly loud.
- What decor? (Oscar)
- I like my dessert (Darren)
- The cheese plate was OK. It would have been nice if the waitress had identified the cheeses and thought to suggest a glass of port. (Franc)
- This experience really shows how bad service can really color one’s impression.
- The Eton Mess ice cream is brilliant. I am going to try to replicate this at home. It’s wonderful. (Franc)
- The service was so poor, I told the server to remove the gratuity from the check. She did so apathetically and made no inquiry as to why I had elected to do so.I have never asked a server to do this. (Franc)
On to the scores: (awarded on these guidelines)