Grain Store is a restaurant in Kings Cross with its focus squarely on fresh sustainably farmed vegetables. The meat, if there is meat in a dish, is solely an accompaniment. So, as you might imagine if you‘ve read more than one other post from me, Grain Store was a hard sell for me, as I’m all protein with a smidgen of veg or grains (mostly rice on sushi roll or avocado lol). But we decided to dine somewhere altogether different, and Grain Store is certainly different for us. Plus, it was an easier sell for Shiima as we’d both watched an episode of Masterchef UK where Grain Store was featured quite favourably.
Grain Store is in Granary Square, which is under ten minutes walk from Kings Cross/St Pancras station. Granary Square is quickly becoming a really good spot for dining (also houses Dishoom and Caravan), drinking, and just hanging out by the fountains or canal side. Soon as you step through the doors of Grain Store, and then the curtains, you are met by the maître ds behind a desk, opposite what looked like a room reserved for a café (cant be sure, as we were there at 7:30 PM so it was fairly empty). They checked us in and led us through the restaurant, which embraces the rustic warehouse style of the building plus an open plan kitchen, to our table and handed us menus. We were quickly attended to by the waiter, who asked if we’d like water; I ceded to Shiima, who rightfully ordered tap water lol. We took our time with the menu as we weren’t at all sure what to order, but eventually we decided. For starters, Mushroom & Montgomery cheddar croquettes, and Chickpea ‘crepe’ topped with fennel puree and herb salad (without the anchovies cos Shiima don’t do fish) to share, and the grilled octopus with raw apples in buttermilk for me, obviously. For the main, Shiima ordered Pumpkin ravioli, with mustard apricots, rocket salad and mustard seeds, and I ordered kohlrabi, celeriac, leeks & squid open lasagna.
The mushroom & Montgomery cheddar croquettes were really tasty … I’ve suddenly become a croquette aficionado due to my new found love of tapas, and this isn’t the best I’ve tried (Barrafina Drury Lane), the filling is not as rich, but it’s up there. The chickpea crepe was a tad odd, seemingly without a distinct taste, which might be due to the lack of anchovies. The grilled octopus was certainly more my speed as there was a considerable portion of octopus, which in itself was delicious. The raw apple in buttermilk was initially off-putting but it quickly grew on me and I really enjoyed it, especially tossed in the fermented chilli & miso puree with accompanied the dish. Shiima’s pumpkin ravioli was the star of the day. The pumpkin filling was delicious and the pieces of mustard apricots dotted around the dish were special. My open lasagna was also delicious, although it seemed there were a lot of competing flavours in the dish. It was a hearty portion and quite filling. We did look at the dessert menu, although we were both really stuffed and somewhat weary from being given (a large mistake on their part) alcoholic variants of the non alcoholic cocktails we ordered, which we didn’t notice (neither of us drinks so we couldn’t exactly taste it) until we looked through the bill. None of the desserts interested us, so we just requested the bill. Speaking of the bill, and their mistake on our cocktails, we decided against kicking up a fuss, as we were well aware it was an honest mistake.
Grain Store was a good one time experience for us, we wont be back, but I think it’s a restaurant one ought to try at least once; you just might enjoy it, especially if you aren’t big on meat and are particular about the farming of your food. Grain Store is moderately expensive as well, but I suppose you are paying for the quality of the ingredients. I recommend for a date, for foodies, and for large groups. There is also a fairly expansive bar if that interests you.
Dress Code: Casual
Cuisine: International (Vegetarian & Vegan)
Amen & Shiima’s Star Dish: Pumpkin Ravioli
Price: £30 each (excluding alcoholic drinks)
Rating: 3 out of 5