The Modern Pantry is totally fresh and original - a veritable cupboard of culinary adventure, influenced by world cuisine but using ingredients that are very much Britain's own.
What does this mean? A clue lies in Anna's background: Anna worked alongside fellow Kiwi Peter Gordon of London's The Providores for years, and his influence shows in her eclectic, global menu and beautifully presented dishes. Case in point: her signature dish, a sugar-cured prawn omelette with green chilli, spring onion, coriander and smoked chilli-sambal. But alongside Indian flavours you'll also find nods to Turkey (Za'atar spiced lamb rack), Japan (Mandarin and wasabi battered cod) and Spain (Slow roast pork belly with chorizo grits).
The restaurant lives in one of Clerkenwell's listed Georgian townhouses, totally modernised of course and clean as a whistle - all smooth surfaces, gentle colours, clean lines and lots of sunlight. It's calm, and the amiable staff (along with the chilli espresso martini) make it all the more mellow.
True to its name, The Modern Pantry does actually have a "pantry", or what they call a "modern traiteur", on the ground floor of the townhouse where you can buy delicatessen dishes, soups, pastries, cakes and coffee to take away.
Most of Anna's dishes have at least one curious component (cocoa chilli crumbs, squid ink cassava chips, tonka bean purée), but that's part of the fun. Food should be an adventure, a trail of discovery. It should also be tasty. And The Modern Pantry achieves all of this in spades.