I found myself at The Grain Store on a late winter’s day, while the cold city streets were draped in curtains of afternoon sun and the working lunch crowd busied themselves with the guilty pleasures of an extended post-noon feast.
The Grain Store’s space is open and welcoming, with an sense of old and new melded cohesively together to give the restaurant a unique and interesting feel. You glide past a strategically-well placed spread of lush sandwiches and rolls smiling wide to reveal the delights of melted cheese, salmon, chicken, and pork all laid out lovingly next to bulbous homestead pumpkins. There’s a sense of home that made me feel almost embarrassed to be snapping pictures right out in the open, perhaps the cause of the hasty blur seen above.
I started with an out-of-character choice of the roasted pear and parsnip soup. It’s a chest-warming number that really shines with the addition of a scattering of walnut oil and a dollop of decadent cream. It’s served with moreish croutons and a few welcome slices of buttery sourdough. Also starring in this production are the impossibly thick-cut chips, served crisp and fluffy in a tiny pan.
I thought it would be necessary to indulge in some gluttony by finishing off lunch with the lemon meringue pie, most likely because I’m a closet fat-shit who is irresistibly drawn to anything with lemon curd. The deconstructed forms of shortbread biscuit, torch-burned marshmallow, pools of oiled basil and tamarillo sounded damn impressive so there was no chance of turning this daytime dessert option down. That being said, as technically impressive as this dish was, I found myself longing for something a little more simplistic. Perhaps the over-complication of the savoury elements here took something away from the modern homeliness that the Grain Store really nails.
The Grain Store is a great addition to the Melbourne scene, showing its taste, vision and professionalism in a great CBD package. I’d definitely be back to grab one of those sandwiches or even to sit down and explore the surprises its menu offers. Fresh made cookies and milk, anyone?