An original restaurant for veggies, vegans AND carnivores | Grain Store, Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, London N1C 4AB
It’s not very often that a restaurant appeals to veggies, vegans and meat eaters in one equal swift hit. Bruno Loubet and the Zetter Group‘s Michael Benyan and Mark Sainsbury’s Grain Store did just that. Fed up with squeezing in meals after dark, I took the day off with a friend and we pretended to be ladies of leisure for the afternoon. The Grain Store is housed in Granary Square by the very cool dancing fountains, a short walk from Kings Cross station in a very different part of town, one which Ade and I must find time to explore more. A very welcoming front of house team led us to a table with views overlooking the ginormous open bustling kitchen where Bruno looms over all the other chefs, that man has presence – and not just because of his height. The room is vast, bright and airy, industrial yet homely with quirky touches like the old vintage pram used as a digestifs trolley.
We nibbled on some Onion bread with crème fraîche butter £3 whilst I sipped my unusual woody cocktail – Cedar Wood £7.50. A crazy but tasty mix of cedar wood fino sherry, lemon juice and soda – all cocktails are this price, god I love this place. Non-alcoholic cocktails are equally as unusual, such as Hay and grass water £4, that Tony Conigliaro has created a fine list of drinks. The particularly uneasy on the eye scrawly font used as a header on the menu did make slightly hard work of what should be an enjoyable task. Despite being a designer, and the assistance of the What the Font app I still couldn’t identify it. I must have looked at the menu for a total of half an hour, including browsing time the night before and I still couldn’t decide what to have. Luckily my dining companion chose all the things I was toying with – result.
First off was Baked beetroots, pickled onions and goat labneh £6 – glossy and colourful fresh beets in a subtle dill oil dressing. I chose a light healthy dish full of crunch – Sprouting beans and seeds, miso aubergine, crispy citrus chicken skin, potato wafer £6. Even though they were out of the vital ingredient I was longing for – chicken skin. I thought they’d compensate it with something else but unfortunately not. Not to worry though as it was still delicious, considering it was pretty much just beans and seeds.
My choice for a main course was also swiped by my friend – Sea Bream with Dhal lentils, sweet banana pepper, apple and red onion salsa £14. Beautifully cooked fish with a golden crispy skin, the creamy dhal lifted by the chunks of sweet apple in the salsa. My Corn and quinoa tamale, salsa, sticky pork belly £15 smelt incredible when it was put in front of me. Wonderful smoky aromas wafting up from the charred corn skin. I unleashed the kernels from inside, creating even more gorgeous vapours. This has to the best way I have eaten corn – ever. Combined with the sweet and sticky sauce, this was a very good plate of food that I did my utmost to make last.
Dessert just had to be the love it or hate it Strawberry and balsamic jam, horseradish ice cream, nasturtium leaves £5.50 that I had read so much about. I am not particularly fond of jam, especially when involved in a dessert but I was keen to try it with the horseradish ice cream. This is the kind of dessert that makes your teeth go furry, the jam was packed with fruit and super sweet. The horseradish in the lusciously creamy ice cream took a while to register on my tastebuds, it certainly wasn’t bursting with heat, and it did really work. I had dessert envy for the White chocolate rice crispy, dark chocolate mousse, almond ice cream £6, a stunning plate, the almond ice cream evoked thoughts of Bakewell tarts.
If any of these dishes have made your mouth water, hard luck, the menu has now switched over to Autumn. But of course it still has an abundance of great looking dishes. I wished we could rewind and do it all again, this was a meal to remember and one I can still taste through the magic of memories. Bruno is simply a genius combining weird and wonderful flavour combinations, we both fell in love and long to return for more. If and when I find enough time to revisit restaurants that I love, this will be one of them. Along with the location and whimsical menu, this is truly a great and original restaurant.
Opening hours: Mon – Wed 11am – 11.30pm, Thu – Sat 11am – Midnight, Sun 11am – 4.30pm
Kitchen Hours: Mon – Fri Lunch: 12pm – 2.30pm, Dinner: 6pm – 10.30pm
Sat Lunch: 11am – 3pm, Dinner: 6pm – 10.30pm
Sun 11pm – 4pm