The Grain Store has got some hype. And as you go in the words trendy and hip come to mind. In a great location (you have to check the Kings Cross area now!), sitting in beautiful open square with modern lights, this fresh space is carved inside old exposed brick walls and the whole room is decorated with a mix of wood and steel. It’s got a sort of modern canteen feel. The kitchen is exposed and runs across the main area. On one side, some intimate alcoves are just perfect for quiet conversation and we got lucky as that is precisely where we got our table.
The menu is quite baffling, with the dish names long and convoluted and the important bit at the end. For example: “Wild fruit purée, potted cabbage, parsnip crisps, bacon, roast wood pigeon breast & sausage”. You really need to read from the back to get the gist of what it is. You get used to it after a few minutes, just remember the important clue is usually in position 2 or 3 from the end.
The starter of wild mushroom croquettes was interesting and very satisfying. Even though this is a starter for one, it easily feeds two. After the 5th croquette I was done with mushrooms. And croquettes. But it was nice, filling and warming.
The squid steak au poivre was fantastic. I think it’s difficult to cook such a large piece of squid well (the way you get a ‘steak’ is by cutting it out of a giant specimen), but it was really soft and the charred flavour was spot on. The pumpkin puree that came with the squid was very well balanced and the sauce was gorgeous. A lovely dish, all in all.
My friend asked for the lamb, which I didn’t try but she tells me it was also very nice. It looked stunning on the plate.
The service was mixed, I can’t really put my finger on what was lacking, maybe a bit of warmth or perhaps the waitress didn’t envisage that we were going to be there for so long and couldn’t quite hide a hint of impatience. She should have seen it coming… two childhood friends, from a country where meals are of infinite duration, who hadn’t seen each other in years, catching up over a nice meal and a bottle of wine? Frankly, they’re lucky we vacated the table at all 😉
In the end, the Grain Store left a positive impression. It’s got a good vibe, the space is trendy and the food is interesting. I had heard mixed views about it and I don’t know if we caught it on a good night. I still think it is worth a try.
Cuisine: Modern, eclectic
Type: Restaurant and bar
Occasion: Breakfast, lunch or dinner, drink
Rating: 4 stars
Would I go again? Yes