I feel very lucky to get some really great invites to wonderful events via my blog. I have been to brand new restaurants, farms where I buy produce from, wine tastings with top sommeliers, and lots of other exciting trips that I've written up on here. I only accept invites to events which I would've gone to anyway, and ones that I think my readers will be interested in. One event that really stands out for me though is the dinner I went to last week. I was invited to go to a chef's table with Anna Hansen, who owns and runs The Modern Pantry, a restaurant that has been on my (long) list of must-visits for a while. The lovely people at Miele invited 5 of us to their Mayfair showroom for a very intimate dinner cooked by Anna.

I was first to arrive (never normally happens!) and was greeted with a glass of bubbles while I waited for the others, and had a sneaky look at all the amazingly high tech ovens in the showroom. The others arrived in no time at all, and once there, we were fed some incredible canapés to start us off, beginning with soft boiled quail's egg, chia seed crostini, wasabi mayo and dukkah - I could've eaten a whole plate of these. The creamy egg and mayo went perfectly with the crunchy, seedy biscuit underneath. I would say these were my favourite of the nibbles, but I couldn't possibly choose between them, they were all so good!

The next canapé was a Persian spiced lamb skewer, with smoked anchovy, tomatillo and Iranian lime salsa. My mouth is watering as I write about these! I really haven't tasted anything like it before. There was just flavour explosion after flavour explosion, the lamb was perfectly pink and the salsa a sublime balance of sour, salt and sweet. If I had a pot of this salsa in my fridge I don't think it would last 10 minutes, I honestly wanted to take spoonfuls of it as the canapés were passed round!

The final canapé was diver caught scallop sashimi with a passionfruit and Urfa chilli (a smokey Turkish chilli, that reminded me a bit of the flavour of a chipotle chilli) dressing, shiso cress and toasted rapeseed. This was fresh and light and so incredibly more-ish. Anna's food has so much depth and flavour, each bite makes you want to know exactly what's in as it is so complex and delicious.

We moved to the counter in front of Anna and her assistant to watch them cook our starter and main. I can't describe how exciting it was being less than a meter away from these culinary geniuses preparing our dinner! We watched as sauces were reduced, dressings made, vegetable garnishes peeled and sliced and the beef for our starter rolled in the spice mix that would give it such an intense flavour, before being cooked on a wipe-clean hot plate device that I now really want in my own kitchen!

The starter was cocoa nib and Szechuan crusted beef tataki with chocolate and sundried tomato dressing and broken cocoa chilli wafer. I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate flavours with savoury dishes, but this was such dark chocolate that it added bitter rather than sweet to the melt in the mouth beef. It was served with a selection of breads and really more-ish sumac crackerbread.

We were also served wines from The Modern Pantry that were paired with each course, as they are in the restaurant, where their menu has wine recommendations to go with nearly everything on the menu. The red we had with the starter was spot on, it's deep flavours perfectly complementing the earthy cocoa, beef, spice mix. The white served with our main was also excellent and really lifted the whole dish with such fresh flavours, although my hands were so covered in crab, that a straw would've gone down well!!!

Main course was a highlight for me - on an evening full of highlights! We had Singapore style wokked crab, pickled mixed mushrooms, crispy shallot, Thai basil and spring onions with a coconut flat bread, that was also cooked on the magic hot plate. We were served the whole crab that had been put back together again, and got stuck in extracting the meat - I absolutely love eating food like this, and the flavour of this dish was so good - it had heat without being overpowering and so many layers of fresh flavour. I was still picking meat out of it after others had given up, and could've gone on if we hadn't have had pudding waiting too.

I don't/can't normally eat 3 whole courses but Anna's food was SO insanely good I couldn't stop myself. Pudding was pineapple tart tatin, tamarind miso caramel, and turmeric and Greek yoghurt sorbet, served with The Modern Pantry's homemade limoncello. I was in heaven by this point. What made this pudding so ridiculously good was the balance of flavour, it wasn't too sweet, or too sharp, it was perfect!


We were even served truffles after the meal...

I've run out of adjectives to describe Anna's food, but you just to have to trust me - you need to try it. Go online and book The Modern Pantry now! I'm going soon and can't wait to try dishes like Pedro Ximenez and black cardamom marinated venison haunch, smoked carrot puree, braised leeks, beetroot and moromi miso relish! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it....!!


  1. Oooh I love The Modern Pantry!!
    I've been there a couplet times for brunch and the food is amazing every time! Will definitely be going back when I move back to London!

    {Teffy's Perks} X

    1. I can't wait to go to the actual restaurant, Anna's food was so good :)

      Rosie. X

  2. Her food is stunning - and Anna is such a nice, humble lady!

    1. She's one of the nicest chefs I've ever met :) and such great food!

      R xx


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