It seems just like yesterday that I started my shop and now it’s been more than half a year. How fast time flies. It has also been far too long since I stayed away from the blog but now that year end work is almost over, I can start to concentrate a bit of my time here.
Starting the shop meant Friday and Saturday nights are usually the busiest time for me so unfortunately I had to decline an invitation to attend the Grain Store launch party. After seeing so many positive reviews, I just had to visit myself so one sunny weekday, I met up with a few friends to have lunch.
It’s not hard to imagine that I haven’t had many opportunities to take public transport either. It was the first time I took the train using the Myki and I totally forgot to swipe my card when I boarded. Just my luck as well that the ticket inspectors boarded the train. So a hefty fine (which came in the mail) later, I finally made it to the Grain Store.
My dining companions were already there waiting for me. I could see the hunger in their eyes so I had to order quickly. But there was so much to take in!
The store was full of people even though it was a weekday lunchtime. In fact, we were lucky enough to even get a table. A group of 7 was turned away at the door while we took up the last remaining 4 seater.
By the front counter, colourful pre-prepared sandwiches, foccacias and salads adorned a long dining table. Diners can pick and choose what appeals to them and it was a perfect setting for my camera as well, of course. It was a magnificent ‘table of inspiration’.
Despite how pretty the display was, I still decided to order a hot cooked meal and that was the tender, succulent Romsey Range Buttery Beef Cheeks ($23) with winter vegetables, Russian red kale and vanilla parsnip puree. This dish sadly doesn’t seem to be on the menu anymore. It was full of flavour and surprisingly quite filling. It may be a tad salty for some of you but I love salt so this was perfect for me. As you can see, I was so hungry that I didn’t even bother to focus the photo properly!
Sat ordered the slow cooked Tasmanian sea trout ($23) which was perfectly cooked through and still pink in the middle. I loved the crunchy bits of fried spring onions on top which added beautiful texture and flavour to the dish. It seemed like a slightly smaller dish than mine though so it may not be for you if you’re very hungry.
Y ordered the nicola potato gnocchi & tomme cheese ($21) with mushroom taleggio cream, broccoli, brown butter and nigella seeds. The gnocchi was creamy, soft and buttery. I’m not the hugest fan of gnocchi as not many places make it well but the Grain Store’s version was salivating.
Rach’s tart with a side salad ($16) looked like the Eiffel Tower next to our dishes. It was huge. For a moment, just a little moment, I thought I wanted to get that instead. It was quite tasty and very colourful but I especially liked the salad that came with it.
A meal is never complete without a cup of coffee. Sat and I both ordered cappuccinos but being in an unstable and slightly uncoordinated state I was in that day, I knocked my coffee all over the saucer before I could even take a photo! What shock and horror. So I present to you Sat’s cappuccino. It’s beautiful isn’t it? But mine was better.
By the way, that’s my artist friend’s impression of me on paper stuck with blu-tack to the cup. That was the cause for my coffee spill as well.
Coffees here are from St Ali and Axil Coffee Roasters so naturally they were strong and aromatic.
As always, we never have stomach for dessert because we eat too much for our mains! I will have to return for their selection of beautifully plated desserts and made to order choc chip cookies.
The Grain Store is open for breakfast and lunch and there is a different menu for weekdays and weekends. I highly recommend making a booking, unless if you’re feeling quite lucky.
The Grain Store
Phone: (03) 9972 6993
517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD 3000