I’m very behind the times on this particular post. As you can tell from the photo below, the date of this is well out of date. In fact, it’s so late that someone else is already cooking at Meza. Fortunately we were able to get a booking for The Modern Pantry on a Saturday night there. Not only is a crazy busy place normally, but the restaurant is also very popular so combine the two and you get some good things happening.
Of course they do their normal menu, but the best value part of this short-lived pop up is the tasting menu that lets you explore a vastly unusual yet excellently delivered set of ingredients.
As you can see, we arrived quite early for our booking. We were far away enough from the bar (this is a good thing) as it started to get extremely busy later on as people arrived just for drinks, and we didn’t exactly feel like putting on a show for people just by sitting on one of the edge tables. Not our sort of thing.
At the time, the New Zealand earthquake had occurred so it was nice to see them collecting money for them, instead of the usual charity places like this might give to. It’s great they had a little placard describing where the money was going as well.
As I mentioned earlier, it started getting much busier, and they even had a DJ set up not far from the other bar (pictured below).
You’ll have to forgive the lack of detail in these posts. I am writing this almost two or three months later and I neglected to take a very good shot of the menu. These were the beetroot fritters. I remember it being mixed with some Indian-style spices and a refreshing topping of yogurt on top. Hot and cold and a great way to start.
Next up, a fresh Ceviche of sorts. Strong yuzu flavours (my favourite citrus fruit) bringing its gloriously sharp zing to the dish. I remember this having little bits of roe on top, although I remember not really enjoying the texture mixed up with all the others. It would have been perfect without this additionally decadent ingredient.
If you dine at their real restaurant, you must have this dish, a self preserved prawn omelette with spicy chilli paste. Not as large as their normal portion (it was a tasting menu of course) but just as addictive.
Next up, some snails although I can’t really remember how they served it. Not particularly offensive, nor memorable.
They soon delivered the roast pollock with a lot of accompanying seafood, some greens and strongly flavoured chorizo.
Next came the pork belly with sweet potato mash, a little bit of a disappointment to be honest. Not only was the piece rather tough and chewy, they managed to sear the top of the skin to crisp (almost burn!) but the rest stayed fatty. Probably the least impressive of the evening .
Finally on to dessert. A perfect finish with a cinder toffee affogato, sweet smoky, and the perfect hot cold sensations of mixing liquid and cream.
They almost forgot to serve the chocolate truffles although we probably didn’t need much more food at this point.
A really great dining experience and from memory, pretty good value for this many courses at just over £60 without drinks. I love the food they serve at the Modern Pantry and although not all the dishes excelled, many of them did and the experience was worth the wait.