Still in London for the food trend video, we went out to diner with the film crew but not without asking my friend Charles from The Food People where to eat. (Locals always are the best to give you insider info)
He immediately recommended The Grain Store. Bruno Loubet, former head chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison, latterly the man behind the much-lauded Bistrot Bruno Loubet set up this visionary new concept with mixologist Tony Conigliaro. (Their first project together was The Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell.)
The Grain Store is the latest addition to the new cool London foodie quarter King’s Cross. ( From the new Kings Cross station only 5 minutes walk alongside beautiful decorated paneling hiding ongoing construction works in the area).
The Grain Store restaurant isn’t vegetarian, but “veg-centric”, because the focus is on making vegetables the star of the show. Every dish mixes tastefully leaves, pulses or grains with any meat or fish element – if there is one…
The Grain Store is interesting in many ways.
Let’s start with the food: If London’s top French chef and its finest cocktail shaker are on a crusade to get us eating our greens, it looks promising, and to be straight at once, they are doing a magnificent job. We had a variety of dishes on the table, and we all tried each other’s food. Always a good sign! On the pictures: Wild Mushroom croquettes, pine seed salt! Light celeriac & hay mouse tartlet, crispy parmesan & black truffle! Steamed seaweed sushi, braised pak choi, black garlic purée, hake in vanilla butter!!! And last but not least: Roast patties, garlic confit, pumpkin purée and squid steak ‘au poivre’. All very tasty, fresh and great combinations. Vegetables rule for sure, the twist of the French chef shows in every dish and the flavors are new and experimental. Loved it.
The interior is a hectic, industrial mix-match of stuff, styles and it works wonderful together. Designed by Russell Sage, known for some of the most glamorous restaurants, bars, hotels and members clubs in London. Design wise think exposed brick walls, ceiling pipes and an open kitchen – stainless steel, wood with some furs on the wall. A collection of furniture, vintage chairs, kids drawings, chandeliers and gorgeous old cookware.
The Grain Store is huge so a lot of people already found their way to this great address which is great. We ate there together with a mix of typical London hipsters, artists, fellow chefs, foodies, some lucky tourists who found this spot and loads of large friend groups.
Nice to know, The Grain Store has it’s fan base secured! The New Review magazine puts it this way: “It is a triumph of a great chef thinking about what the London scene needs and delivering it”. Or even nicer: World famous chef Jamie Oliver calls his diner at The Grain Store “the best dish he ate last year”.
I think this counts for something.
Walking back to our hotel, in front of the Grain Store square, numerous fountains pop up, change color and give you a fun and happy exit. An upcoming neighborhood, with already one food land mark to visit!
It’s worth the walk, and once you get there, prepare for some very tasteful and new flavor combo’s. Veg-centric, remember the word!
©ALL images courtesy by Kate Stockman_THE SQUID STORIES