Sunday, 16 March 2014

Grain Store - More than just mung beans

Grain Store is the latest restaurant from celebrated chef, Bruno Loubet. The chef has
 gained huge praise for his self-named restaurant at the Zetter Hotel; so I was excited to try his latest venture. 

The sign for Grain Store restaurant

What makes Grain Store a little different to other restaurants in London, is the team's dedication to sustainability and the importance of integrating environmental practices into all aspects of the running of their business. Grain Store has also recently won London's Sustainable Restaurant of the Year 2014. 

I'm all for keeping it eco-friendly and my lovely friend Amelia joined me for lunch the restaurant based in Granary Square, a new development in Kings Cross. 

The restaurant space is based on the idea of an 'exploded kitchen' where lines are blurred between kitchen and dining room and the cooking spills out into the dining area. The reality is a rather (oxymoronic) cosy warehouse! 

The interior of Grain store restaurant

I also loved this neon sign in the bathroom!


Very random, but cool 


And drinks served from a pram...

First a cocktail! Molecular mixologist, Tony Conigliaro is responsible for the creation of the cocktail list at Grain Store. Interestingly, he has taken inspiration for the Greco-Roman approach to wine by infusing herbs and spices into his cocktails. 

We tried several! Well it would be rude not to...


The Twinkle!!

The cocktail fits with the oxymoronic theme of the restaurant. Containing vodka, elderflower cordial, champagne and a twist of lemon, this is a bittersweet symphony. The elderflower provides the sweetness but the lemon prevails! I loved it!


Roman smoked paprika white wine, or Grenache Blanc with smoked paprika cordial. While the Twinkle was light and fresh this was a little heavier and musky. The smoky flavour came through strongly and it was another winner for us. 


The Amadeus; porcini amontillado sherry, truffle bitters and champagne. 
It's a mushroom cocktail!

Again another heavier musky flavour. Enjoyable, but earthy with a strong taste of alcohol.

The lovely Amelia is also a bride-to-be so we caught up with each other on wedding excitement and stresses over our numerous cocktails!

Cocktails sampled we turn to decide on the food. The menu is not anchored geographically, instead it  reflects Loubet's travels around the world as well as his love for his vegetable patch. At Grain Store, vegetables are just as important as meat or fish. 

I was impressed with our waitress's vast knowledge of the menu and the provence of the ingredients. She was able to describe each dish in minute detail. Points to Grain Store on service!

We decided to share a few starters.


Vegetable chorizo 'scotch egg' with fennel and aioli. 
'But how can it be a vegetable scotch egg' I asked. Again Loubet plays with food and turns ideas upside down. 

The 'sausage' part of the egg is made up of pulse and lentils.

'Oooh, a healthy scotch egg?' 

Well it's deep fried but probably the healthiest scotch egg you'll ever try! 
The egg was cooked just right and the celeriac salad and aioli side was the perfect accompaniment. 


Amelia chose celeriac remoulade, mushroom and duck liver pate with mulled wine jelly. 
Kind of like Christmas on a plate! The pate was smooth and creamy, and it was Amelia's favourite dish of the day. 


I chose sprouting beans and seeds with miso aubergine, crispy citrus chicken skin and potato wafer. The dish was ok, but a little boring and not really enough aubergine. The potato wafers were lovely and crispy but the chicken skin a little greasy. 


Starters done, we eagerly awaited our mains!


My main course was Vietnamese style salad with sea trout and squid a la plancha. It was my dish of the day, all the fish was perfectly cooked and the citrusy, zesty dressing went perfectly with my lemon Twinkle! 


Butternut squash ravioli with sage and mustard apricots with pumpkin seed oil. Gorgeous soft pillows of pasta filled with creamy butternut squash. The pasta was a tiny bit over done, but overall a very enjoyable dish. 


We couldn't help but order dessert as we were so intrigued by the apple, blackberry and elderberry crumble with rosemary and olive oil ice cream. Another unusual combo by Loubet, but again it hit the exact right notes. The crumble was light and juicy and the addition of rosemary was a touch of genius.

Even the bill presentation matched the vegetarian theme of the restaurant.


It was lovely to meet up with Amelia and Grain Store is a totally fantastic restaurant. I definitely foresee and Michelin star in it's future!

Grain Store
1 - 3 Stable Street
Kings Cross
London
N1C 4AB
020 7324 4466

Find the menu on Zomato
Follow on Bloglovin Square Meal Grain Store on Urbanspoon

9 comments:

  1. This place looks amazing! Wish I lived in London so I could check it out. So often more creative and gastronomical restaurants focus really heavily on the meat so that, as a vegetarian, there isn't that much choice. Also, I've never tried a Scotch egg and would LOVE to simulate the experience!

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    1. Hi Sophie,
      It was the best place I've been in the last few months and it definitely deserves some huge accolades! I'm not a vegetarian but I'm not a big meat eater so it's really nice to go somewhere that has so many menu options for me! Amelia is a foodie too, so it was great to have the experience together, we both loved the Scotch egg. I really hope that you come to London and try it!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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  2. Oh wow, I love restaurants that do more to be locally involved and sustainable, makes such a difference, and I'm definitely willing to pay more for it.

    The food looks delicious!

    Hmm maybe...

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    1. Yes, take a look at their website and it tells you several ways in which they ensure their sustainability through waste management and energy management. They also very much encourage environmental awareness in their staff and guests.

      The food was amazing, we couldn't decide what to have as there were so many amazing sounding dishes.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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  3. What a great restaurant have a few veggie friends that will love this restaurant. The pram to deliver drinks is a quirky addition Lucy x

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    1. Its such a great idea to really show case the vegetable as the main event! There's lots other things going on around Granary Square, like the KERB market. The pram was cool - Amelia insisted I include it in the post!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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  4. I loved Grain Store (and the gorgeous fountains outside it!). We did the 'surprise' taster menu which was awesome. Haven't tried the cocktails yet - well, apart from the non-alcoholic ones which don't really count - but might have to return to give them a go.

    Caroline x
    www.cocktailsandcaroline.com

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    1. It was fabulous and it's great to see King's Cross coming along as a place to visit in London. I had wanted to check out KERB, the street food market, and take some pics but it was absolutely pouring with rain!!

      I generally prefer to have wine with a meal but at Grain Store the cocktails definitely enhance the flavours of the food! You must try them!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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  5. Security is always an important consideration and must always be very good at any storage facility. We've never had a single problem with ours. Access is easy and the place is immaculate.

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