To stave off the jetlag after an 11 hour flight, I thought it would be a good idea to go out to dinner. Turns out it was a brilliant idea, Art suggested Grain Store and we showed up at about 8:30 on a Saturday night and were tucked in nicely at the bar 5 minutes later.
I can't remember the last time that so many things have appealed to me on a menu and on top of that all of the specials sounded amazing, I was relieved to see the offer of a £35 5 course 'surprise' menu which alleviated any worries I had about whittling down what I actually wanted. It would have been impossible.
We were both intrigued by the idea of a menu chef Bruno Loubet devises daily based on whatever he has available to him. We started off with martinis, green for Art, above, and truffle for me (£7 each). We knew we were in good hands when it comes to drinks as Tony Conigliaro, the brains behind the bar at The Zetter Townhouse, is in charge of things. Look at that nasturtium leave, so pretty.
We started off with olives (£3.50) and bread (£4), not included in the surprise menu but we were pretty hungry. The focaccia was good, with olive oil to dunk in, and dukkah, a mix of spices and nuts adding a nice little extra something.
Then came the first proper course, padron peppers on a pea and mint puree scattered with pinenuts, and radishes on a fennel puree. Everything looked so pretty. Also served at this point were 2 mushroom croquettes. You should know that one of my peppers was a super hot one, which never seems to happen anymore, happy days!
From this point on, the dished arrived in pairs, this was my favourite on the night, artichokes served with cucumber, anchovy dip, mint and Parmesan crisps. The combination of flavours was incredible, the textures so varied and everything really worked amazingly well together.
With it came this, the confit salmon with peach and salted watermelon. I didn't expect to like this but again everything really worked together, the salmon was cooked to perfection and the fruit provided sweet and saltiness and crunch and tartness. It was really lovely.
Next up was the peas and morels with braised lettuce and mint. There was a lot of mint going on throughout the meal, here forming a classic pair with the peas. The furthest dish was again braised lettuce here topped with slow cooked chorizo ragu, it was so rich, flavoured with red wine and another stand out plate for me.
Then on to mains, this is the josper grilled pigeon served with corn tamales, the corn was excellent, wasn't too sure about the pigeon but you can't deny that the josper gives anything it touched a really impressive char. There's a daily 'from the josper' special.
This was the final savoury dish of the day, the slow cooked lamb shoulder with courgette and samphire. It was another highlight for me but by this point I was painfully full so this defeated us. I'd moved on to twinkles by this point, theirs are fantastic obviously, and Art was on the vino.
Dessert came in the form of tapioca, which I absolutely love topped with caramelized pineapple and some other yellow fruit which was grainy in texture and quite sour and soft. There was a sweet crisp bread type thing which really made the dish for me, it was a brilliant end to a pretty much faultless meal.
I actually hadn't expected to love Grain Store, but I really did and I can't wait to return, they do a decent brunch by all accounts but what excites me is the idea of returning and trying more from the dinner menu. We paid a little over £60 each for all this which I think is real value for money. The room is large and service is perhaps a tad too keen and excitable. I think once they've been up and running for another month or two, this will be one of the most sought after reservations in London.
1 Stable Street