When I walked into Grain Store I saw pine, painted tables dressed with root vegetables, a bustling open kitchen and a well stocked bar. All juxtaposed with an industrial ceiling of metal pipes.
Then, I noticed Bruno Loubet, meticulously checking food before service. This made me happy. I’ve never seen a ‘celebrity’ chef actually in the kitchen, so appreciated Bruno being there, even if it’s just for one night.
We were a large group of 12, so had the four course tasting menu at £35 a head. The dishes weren’t on the main menu, so we waited with bated breath (and mouthfuls of bread and wine) until course no.1 arrived.
Portions of Yoghurt Flatbread with Carrot Spread, and Coco Beans, Roast Pepper & Octopus Salad, were placed in front of us. The Carrot Spread was my favourite – sweet and aromatic, it was unlike anything I’d tried before.
The Octopus Salad wasn’t as fishy as I’d have liked, but around the table I could hear ‘mmms’ of joy, so knew it was going down well.
Next we had Wood Fired Scorched Leeks with Sautéed Chestnut Mushrooms, Girolles & Roquefort Dressing. Vegetables are King at Grain Store, so it was nice to see the simple leek given so much attention.
The Moussaka’s flavour was a tad disappointing, but I liked the novelty of having minced lamb, mash and other ingredients stuffed inside an aubergine.
The main course of Savoy Cabbage, Ash Baked Celeriac, Roast Greengage Plum, Roasted Partridge and Tarragon Jus would make a great, if not slightly pretentious, Sunday lunch. This time on individual plates, it was cooked perfectly and I loved the greengage, but probably wouldn’t have ordered it given the choice.
By contrast, the pudding was exactly what I’d have chosen. Chocolate & Red Bean Cake was served with Ginger Ice Cream, Black Sesame Sauce & Confit Mango. A masterful combination of flavours that forced me to polish off The Boyfriend’s leftovers.
Grain Store gets a LLE Rating of 7/10. The food wasn’t always what I wanted, but each course was interesting and appealed to different people round the table. What’s more, the atmosphere was second to none, they made an excellent White Lady cocktail (always a deal breaker for more) and the staff were lovely – I even managed a chat with Sous Chef Neil Campbell at the end.
Grain Store, Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, King’s Cross, London N1C 4AB