517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
Okay, here we go, attempt two at getting this site back up and running. I apologize if anyone has been expecting a new one lately – I had to wrap my head around writing about a place on the top of Mount Buller (of all places!) before I decided it wasn’t even worth it in the first place.
So here we are talking about The Grain Store. Now I have been itching to get at this place for quite some time after a friend of mine recommended it to me, but all I kept finding were horrendous lines and a rather off-putting wait for a table. So it was on this last Saturday that I finally managed to snag a reasonable wait (just 10 minutes, can you believe that?) and settled down for lunch with the family.
Now I’ve heard many a good thing about The Grain Store from my fellow bloggers and diners, and was expecting nothing less than an above-average performance. They didn’t disappoint.
I’ll start with the decor. Unassuming on the outside, The Grain Store’s exterior struck me as a fashionable boutique or cafe (which it was, as it turned out), with a small entry for so unusually large an interior. The interior was more appealing, with tightly-packed tables and tasteful decorations accentuating their organic leanings (loaves of bread, open kitchen, clean wooden-fresh feel of the shelves, tables and chairs).
The staff are friendly and quick to respond upon call, and the displays of tarts and fresh breads are so flagrant I would have consumed the lot – thankfully, I didn’t, because I wasn’t here for that. I was here for their brunch menu, which when it arrived like everything else in the place – punctual, organic, and on the whole, smelling good.
Now, as it was a brunch, I was expecting something light. What I was most certainly not expecting was something that looked like it had come straight out of Blumenthal’s kitchen – extravagantly garnished, utilizing the most bizarre array of colours and textures I’ve ever seen on one plate. I was expecting brunch, chaps – not a art masterpiece.
Masterpiece or not masterpiece, we tucked in. It was a fine blend of ingredients, for sure, but I felt a certain mashing of flavours, as if it hadn’t been experimented before. Texture clashed with taste as I struggled to process the barrage of sensations that they had delivered. They had delivered an exquisite trap cleverly disguised underneath layers of pea dressing, salad, bacon steak, and the homemade sauce (that I just can’t put my finger on).
It was a trap, and I didn’t know how to process it. On the plate in front of me, the leftovers left me with a confusion of aftertastes, like an orchestra that tunes itself erratically in the middle of a piece. It is a testament to that storm of flavours that I write this only now, five weeks after. It was good, yes4, but just how good I’ll leave to masses to decide. My verdict,personally, people – go only if you’re prepared for the most hipster-ish mish-mash of flavours that you’ll ever find on a breakfast plate and are prepared to handle it!
Or just go for the coffee. At least that’s not a trap.