I don’t really need much of an excuse to try a new restaurant, but having a friend visit from overseas is a pretty good reason to try something different. Grain Store sits in a little area at the back of St Pancras station next to Central St Martins and is neighbour to two other places I love to eat: Caravan and Dishoom. I won’t go off on a tangent here, but making a little excursion to try both of these is more than worth the planning.
Grain Store has a comfortable but industrial feel with exposed air vents and piping, paired with light wooden accessories. It’s brightly lit and thanks to the open kitchen (you can sit at the bar and watch them at work), it’s constantly bustling which gives it a really comfortable and homely feel.
While I panicked over the menu, we shared some onion bread with homemade creme fraiche butter. From this I already knew I was going to love what was coming next. The bread wasn’t overpowering as the onion just gave it a tiny bit of zing and a little crunch; the butter was so deliciously creamy it took all of my willpower not to push my friend off her chair so I could have it all to myself.
I went for the vadouvan mash, lemon cucumber, kohrabi, lamb breast confit and olive jus. Now that sounds unbelievably pretentious, mainly because I didn’t know what half the stuff was, but the waitress was incredibly helpful with explaining what I had chosen. Vadouvan is a type of Indian masala made with burnt garlic and onion, the type of flavours that I eat all the time at home. For those to whipped into mashed potato, I was in a small portion of Heaven. I actually told my friend when I was half way through that I was already upset that I’d eventually have to finish it. Considering I hate lemon and can’t stand olives, I completely loved every component of this dish; the lamb was so soft and the kohrabi (a member of the cabbage family) may well be on its way to being my new favourite vegetable. Waitrose must stock it, right?
For dessert I had the lyonnaise bugne, matcha tea creme brulee and raspberry sorbet. The bugne is a small donut tasting fritter, shaped perfectly for me to scoop at my creme brulee. The matcha tea ensured the brulee was bright green and it wasn’t bitter as I thought it might be. The sorbet was without a doubt the best sorbet I’ve ever had, and it was perfect with the creme brulee. It was a dessert of three parts but it really worked best when they were put together. The whole meal was an exploration and a discovery, both of venue and of flavours, and there are at least four other mains I intend on going back to try.
Grain Store is located at Granary Square in King’s Cross and is open for lunch and dinner seven nights a week.