Sometimes you walk into a venue and your shoulders drop and you feel relaxed. This is exactly what happened to me when I walked into The Grain Store, tucked into the somewhat dodgy end of Flinders Lane. Now, to put my emotional state into context (for effect shall we say), I had just battled my way through hoards of young scantily clad semi drunk people leaving King Street at 9am on a Sunday morning. It was not a pretty sight, I can tell you that. So, a feeling of calm is even more commendable I would say.
As I arrived I was welcomed and quickly seated on the communal table to the front of the room. I did not realise that getting a seat was actually quite lucky. As I was leaving two hours later people were hip and shouldering for the last tables. And we should have booked, I overheard the waitress telling someone else. So, feeling quite lucky in retrospect.
I perused the menu as I drank my St Ali coffee. I was torn instantly. The menu, designed by chef Ingo Meissner, has a European brunch vibe happening and it’s enticing.
Options range from chilli and fennel sausage with winter vegetable mash, poached egg, Russian red kale, pear and cider relish ($17) to apple and rhubard ricotta pancakes with oat and honeycomb crumble ($16) to vegan cauliflower, quinoa and goji berry with pumpkin hummus, celeriac and nigella seends ($17) – I’m not even sure what that would look like.
Anywho, on this particular morning I was feeling breakfast not brunch, it was 9am after all so I went for the Grain Store toasted muesli parfait served with mandarin, chia seed yoghurt, quince jam and quinoa milk ($10).
This, my friends, is for the sweet tooths out there. The quince jam was thick and deadly sweet while the yoghurt and mandarin did offer nice tartness. I have to confess, I now add chia seeds to my yoghurt at all times.
My breakfast companion opted for the special of sweet brioche French toast with rhubarb, apple and caramel. It looked divine and she confirmed as much.
The space simply adds to the charm. The light wooden interior, with natural light, lovely design details and crates of apples made me feel a little like a Southern Belle. Yes this may prove I don’t have any idea of the history of design, but it worked just the same. As did the fact that they serve booze all times of the day, some even on tap.
Upon my next visit to The Grain Store I will no doubt try the chocolate chip cookies which are baked to order, served in fours with a glass of milk. I mean come on, does it get any better than that?
My tip is go. And make a booking apparently.