Lunch break: The Modern

Maybe there’s times when only a fish finger sandwich will do. But that’s not often when you’re at a swish city centre elevated eaterie such as The Modern .
Housed at the top of the landmark Urbis building, this restaurant has an unusual lunchtime menu which seems to specialise in favourite childhood and tea-time snacks – sausage rolls with piccalilli, cheese sandwich with walnut chutney, thick cut chips with garlic mayonnaise et al. (Check out the full menu here)
But it was the fish finger sandwich which caught my eye. Thick cut slices of soft, floury white bread enveloped the fingers of fish which were in truth more like goujons.
The exact sort of fish remains a mystery as the waitress wasn’t sure and even her visit to the kitchen to find out failed to reveal the answer. I’d guess pollack, which was unadulterated by potato, herbs or much seasoning of any kind and was, disappointingly, a bit dry.
He fared better with his selection of char grilled rib-eye steak sandwich with caramelised onions although the duck’s egg was somewhat wasted on his taste buds as he was unable to differentiate the perfectly cooked yolk from the standard chicken variety.
My verdict: The lunch menu is something a bit different from the usual pizza, panini and pasta offering available all around. It’s a light-hearted take on some home-made snacks and is a great location for a leisurely break from retail therapy.
Plus: Stylish surroundings and good service in one of the city’s most impressive buildings.
Minus: The décor has been made considerably less formal than the acres of white linen which used to adorn the previous restaurant housed in this location (Le Mont), but comes with the addition of, what can only be described as slightly tatty, carpet. I’m guessing it was installed for acoustic reasons but does let the stylish ambience down.
Value: On the pricey side. If it really had been a fish finger then the £5.50 price tag would have been laughable but what you actually receive is a cut above the humble.


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