there are not many cbd breakfast spots on my urbanspoon wishlist. probably mostly due to the fact that working in the city, i don’t necessarily want to rush back again early on a weekend morning; but also due in part to the plethora of funky local suburb options that i like to check-out on a saturday or sunday. the grain store, however, was one exception. tucked into the bottom end of flinders lane and just around the corner from king st (aka: gentlemen club st), you’ll have to forgive me for finding a few other brunch priorities before finally trying this one out.
lesson learnt: don’t let the location deter. and certainly there are plenty of melbournites who don’t… we had a 40 minute wait for a table! but armed with a tasty takeaway coffee and a comfy bench in the foyer (out of the cold), i settled in for the wait to finally give ‘the grain store’ a try.
housemade spirulina, pineapple, pear & mint juice. a refreshing and fruity kick-starter. yum!
portobello mushroom + gruyere potato rösti with poached eggs, hazelnut hollandaise + sunchoke chips
this dish was delicious. the potato rösti especially. eggs were perfectly runny, great flavour in the hollandaise sauce, and the mushrooms were perfectly cooked.
toasted granola parfait + strawberry with mandarin, chia seed yoghurt, quince jam, quinoa milk
an unusual flavour combination and not your standard granola, but still quite enjoyable. the stone fruit was well cooked and the granola had a great taste. personally, i felt the chia seed yoghurt was a bit too thick and didn’t mix in with the granola as easily as a usual yoghurt, and the milk serving size was too small – this made the overall texture quite gluggy and overly crunchy (read hard to eat).
the service was great. we inadvertently ended up with a waitress who knew of us through mutual friends – so it certainly added to the friendliness. however, looking around it looked like the other tables were receiving equally friendly service and the staff generally seemed to enjoy what they were doing (a rare sight these days!) with a genuine un-pretentiousness about them.
the decor is gorgeous – like a big old farmhouse with barn doors and lovely soft lighting and wooden tables and chairs. it was a very relaxed and serene environment despite being full to the brim!
and the cake display at the front counter, divine! beautifully displayed and freshly made ready to be taken away.
overall, i would say it was a good experience. not my favourite, but not bad by any means. a 40 minute wait usually means i’m going in with pretty high expectations to start with; and i found 2 out of 3 items met this along with a great atmosphere and friendly environment.
verdict: would go again
p.s. the website is gorgeous!