One drizzly morning back in March I took my parents out for a Mother's Day surprise meal in Clerkenwell. Much hemming and hawing over various Google, TimeOut and newspaper reviews had led me to The Modern Pantry. And guess what? Turns out Asian-tinged brunch in an airy Georgian town house was exactly my parents' cup of tea. Mum was bursting with compliments about her choice - the much-raved about prawn omelette - and my parents even had a little explore of the place, heading upstairs to nose around the Modern Pantry's function room for future dinner parties. But anyway. You must be wondering what we had to eat...
For the table, a Cornish crab, smoked mussel and endive salad drizzled with a brown crab, umeboshi and seaweed mayonnaise, garnished with garlic crisps. Perfectly light, utterly delicious and practically a magnet to seafood enthusiasts like the Lims.
For my mother, the sugar-cured New Caledonian prawn omelette with toast, green chilli, spring onion, coriander and what I am assured was an incredibly authentic, powerful smoked chilli sambal. (Trust her, she's Malaysian). I had a mouthful and oh my, the combination of sweet prawn and smoky chilli was seriously addictive.
For Papa L, a spartan choice of poached eggs and toast, accompanied by pan-fried halloumi, slow-roast tomatoes and wilted spinach. Can't go wrong with the classics.
And for me, the most delicious brunch I think I've had in my life. Coconut and cassava waffles accompanied by a pineapple and thyme salsa and a mound of coconut yoghurt, sprinkled with peanut brittle. The only adequate adjective for this: divine.
I ate my waffles with a sneaky side of bacon. So worth it.
Seeing as almost all the food at the table had an Asian twist to it, it was only right for me to order a matcha latte to chase it down. A striking colour, but a tad on the chalky side for me. Next time I'll stick with my trusty chai latte.
For my mum, a Lalani & Co oolong brewed to perfection thanks to this little hourglass, housed inside an antique bobbin. I often find oolong quite bitter, but the strict measurement of brewing time produced a beautifully subtle, slightly smoky flavour.
A perfect Mother's Day experience - with excellent food and attentive service with special touches, like the little box of truffles presented to my mum at the end of the meal. She was definitely won over, and so was I!
St. John's Square is officially one of the coolest areas of London in my eyes. It's home to the Zetter Townhouse, the Bistro Bruno Loubet, the Museum of the Order of St. John (think I'm going to have to indulge my inner medievalist with a visit pretty soon)...
...and now, a favourite brunch spot!
Thank you to the Modern Pantry for making this year's Mother's Day such a special one. I can't wait to return to sample your Malaysian-inspired rendang mince on toast...oh, and to get some waffles to go!