I’ve eaten at Anna Hansen’s bisto for breakfast before so I was pretty happy to go here for my flatmate’s birthday dinner last weekend. What made it all the more exciting was having seen Anna at the Taste of Christmas last year and talk passionately about her cooking interests and the thought behind dishes such as her Sugar-cured New Caledonian prawn omelette, spring onion, coriander, smoked chilli sambal. Therefore when I sat it on their menu as a starter (£8.50), I couldn’t but help myself and order it.
Although it’s pricey for a starter, it was deliciously put together – perfectly cooked egg, slightly sweet prawns and and the homemade chilli sambal adding that depth of heat to the dish. I’d definitely get this one again.
For my main, I ordered the grilled miso marinated steak onglet, cassava chips, feta cheese and salad with green pepper relish (£16.50). The onglet is an interesting cut of meat, often called the butcher’s cut because there is only one of these per cow, and it’s flavour and taste and tenderness often mean butcher’s would rather keep it than sell it. There’s a good reason for it, since it was so tender and really nice. Interesting, the waiter asked if cooking it rare was okay – completely fine with me in a restaurant I trust who knows what to do with it.
I finished the meal off with a hokey-pokey affogato(£4), a combination of two rare items to find in London that I would definitely regret not ordering it the next day. Delicious hokey pokey ice cream (effectively crumble mixed through ice cream) and then served in small cup with an espresso shot tipped on top. I absolutely adore the contrast brought about by dishes mixing hot and cold sensations.
I can highly recommend this place for a great evening. Service was prompt, and not even noticeable at times, the perfect sort. Even though we were the last ones out and hanging around quite late, no one ever asked us to leave.
Name: The Modern Pantry
Found at: 48 Saint John’s Square, London EC1V 4JJ