14 September 2013

Grain Store

Grain Store is the all day restaurant from Bruno Loubet, part of the regeneration area behind Kings Cross. I'm more than familiar with the area, being a regular visitor to the now defunct Cross and Bagleys clubs that were there in the Nineties but now the area has changed beyond all recognition, the walk from Kings Cross taking you through a collection of building sites and over the Regents Canal to the finished Granary Square area, home to Grain Store, Caravan, Kerb and St Martins College of Art and Design.

The restaurant retains its original warehouse dimensions, a large industrial space with bar and open kitchen, and was already busy when we arrived at midday. The menu is interesting, with a focus on vegetables, and the meat or fish element being mentioned last on the dish description and a large selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes. There's also a cocktail menu with savoury and sweet cocktails, and some unusual herb infused and smoked wines.

I started with lobster "Bloody Mary", with an accompanying plate of potato and rye bread, a fantastic slice spread with a umami rich seaweed butter and dense leafy covering of borage, oyster leaf, flowers and some hairy plant I didn't recognise. Hats off to Grainstore here, even though it had no noticeable fish or meat ingredients it was not labelled as vegetarian on the menu due to the parmesan in the seaweed butter. The lobster dish was a timbale of lobster and green, yellow, cherry and red tomatoes around which was poured a consomme of tomato and vodka. The consomme was excellent, intense with flavour and the tomatoes a nice mix of crunchy, soft and sweet. The lobster itself was cooked to perfection, soft as a pillow. My wife had a lovely looking plate of baked beetroots; orange, candy and red, goats labneh, pink pickled onions and a dill dressing. 

The mains kept to the same high standards, for my wife a dish with a poached egg, a type of cheese, a spiced crushed nut mix called dukkah and a white bean hummus and had some very good feedback, a really delicious dish. I had a cast iron pan containing gratin dauphinois and topped with rabbits leg and salsa. The dauphinois was heavenly, creamy, garlicky potatoes and topped off with a beautiful piece of rabbit cooked under a Josper, soft and juicy, timed perfectly and with the pleasing smoky barbeque flavours from the Josper. The salsa verde was more guacamole than anything, lots of avocado mixed with the herbs and pickled jalapenos. You wouldn't have thought it would go with dauphinois and rabbit but it provided a pleasing creamy topping to the rabbit amd worked perfectly. The dish was utterly wonderful, supreme comfort food and just right for a damp September morning.

The dessert menu featured some unusual vegetable ingredients, horseradish ice cream and strawberries in one dish, and the the one I choose featuring spiced candied tomatoes and goats milk panna cotta. The tomatoes were actually whole cherry tomatoes, and whilst retaining a hint of tomato the sweetness from the candying process and spices provided a taste unlike anything Ive had before. The panna cotta was of excellent quality. My wife had white chocolate rice crispy cake chocolate mousse and almond ice cream. This was an excellent plate, in particular the lovely crispy cake and ice cream.

Grain Store is a popular place, when we left it was full and for good reason too, a whole menu of highly original and innovative dishes can be found and some really good food. I look forward to returning. Kings Cross and Saint Pancras, once desolate wastelands as far as food is concerned, now have a number of good places to eat and Grain Store is certainly one of the better choices. The bill came to 85 quid and included a £1 covercharge for water, two cocktails and service, not bad considering I had the most expensive starter and main and the quality of the meal.

Potato and rye bread, borage, oyster leaf.

Lobster 'Bloody Mary'

Beetroots, goat labneh.

Flat bread, poached egg, white bean hummus.

Gratin dauphinois, salsa verde, rabbit leg.

Spiced candied tomatoes, panna cotta.

White chocolate rice crispy cake, chocolate mousse, almond ice cream.

Grain Store on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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