Last weekends adventures are another example of why I love London. I’ve lived here almost 3 years now and I’m still discovering new places all the time. Having recently reviewed Caravan, I returned to Granary Square in King’s Cross, this time to sample brunch at the Grain Store.
Whilst meat and fish do feature on the menu, vegetables take centre stage at the Grain Store which opened it’s doors in June 2013 to rave reviews. The chaps behind all the awards are Chef Bruno Loubet and The Zetter Group’s Michael Benyan and Mark Sainsbury.
Grain Store occupies one part of a vast former Victorian warehouse, once an industrial wasteland north of King’s Cross station. The restaurant is prettied up with an open kitchen, batterie de cuisine, wine racks, ill-assorted furniture and art covering most of the exposed brick walls.
We kicked things off by ordering a couple of drinks. I was feeling boozy, he was feeling healthy (it was a bank holiday monday, c’mon!). My Date Kir champagne cocktail was made with date liquor and tasted scrumptious. My dining partner’s Heidi Smoothie was made with bee pollen, honey, banana, buttermilk and oats. Did you know, that bee pollen is actually considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods? Well, the smoothie was very much a meal in itself – thick and filling!
Most dishes on Grain Store’s menu are highly innovative but distinctly un-brunch-like. As we were dining at midday it wasn’t too bad as I had chosen to order one of the distinctly un-brunch-like items of Potato Pancake with Sour Cream Leeks, Poached Duck Egg and Tobiko Wasabi Caviar.
Sounds pretty la-de-da doesn’t it? Tobiko is the roe from flying fish which is often flavoured with either soy to create a bright orange caviar or wasabi producing a bright green caviar. The wasabi version, used in this dish has a mild salty taste, and a crunchy texture.
The potato cake was light and the creamy leeks had a wonderful crunch to them. Topped with a poached duck egg the yolk oozed out of it covering the leeks and caviar which provided a nice little tingle when popping the fish eggs in your mouth. It was an incredibly enjoyable dish to eat.
My dining partner chose the Seeded scone with Vegemite whipped butter, herb fromage frais, smoked salmon & scrambled eggs. All of the elements of the dish came together well, with the vegemite butter being a real highlight. The scrambled eggs were a creamy consistency served warm next to a dollop of fresh herb fromage frais. Delish.
Now I must admit that I should have stopped eating there, but my greed lead me to ordering dessert. If my choice of dessert had been a good one I would have been much happier satisfying my sweet tooth but unfortunately the stone cold matcha tea crème brûlée was not for me. Not only was it cold (which may have been intentional?) but the top was over caramelised making it taste burnt. The matcha tea flavouring was so strong, I thought my tongue was going to turn green and the Lyonnaise “bugnes” (a sweet crisp pastry) were pointless. Thankfully the accompanying raspberry sorbet was good, but overall Grain Store’s crème brûlée wasn’t for me.
Both Caravan and Grain Store offer exciting menus and huge dining spaces. The advantage of organising brunch at Grain Store is that you’re able to make a reservation whereas Caravan doesn’t allow you to book. Both are worth a visit but if you had to choose one, go for Caravan for meat and veg at Grain Store.
ADDRESS: Granary Square, King’s Cross, 1-3 Stable Street, London N1C 4AB
CONTACT: 020 7324 4466
OPENING HOURS: 12:00 – 2:30 p.m. and 6:00 – 10:30 p.m Monday to Saturday and 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Sundays
It looks amazing – had never thought of putting leeks on a brunch plate but definitely will now – yum!
It seems like there’s SO much cool stuff going on near King’s Cross. I live south of the river so it always feels too far away, but I really should get my bum in gear and go check it all out. I’m sure it would be worth it for that potato pancake, looks wonderful!