Located towards the shady side of town (near the corner of King St and Flinders’ Lane), this is not something you would normally walk past, when you are in the CBD. Grain Store is more known for its coffee and brunch menu but with a couple of friends, we decided to be adventurous and try the dinner menu instead. When you walk in, the place has a beautiful mood to it, you walk into a light room filled with flowers and soft decor.
We were given bread to start; it was fresh focaccia bread. The bread was lovely and soft, a tad sweet and a bit too oily for my liking (it reminded me of the round Chinese doughnut).
We got 2 entrees to share. The smoked duck fillets and quail with black garlic; and the scallops. On first impressions when the scallops came there were only 3 on the plate, we had 4 people and we told the waitress that we were sharing. I found it disappointing that she didn't advise us there were only 3 per serving. If told, we could have ordered another one or something else. The seared scallops were served on a delicate pea puree and crackling. I loved the idea of the crackling on the plate.
The quail and smoked duck fillet was an interesting dish. The meat had just enough smokiness to it and it paired with caramelised parsnip. I found it quite nice and interesting.
For mains I got the sirloin steak. There was a lot going on the plate as the picture shows. My favourite part of the dish was the mushroom tartlet. I loved the play on visual. I asked for medium rare and it was cooked correctly and not overcooked.
D got the duck breast. Served with potato pearls (just small balls of potato), burnt blood orange and a very generous bed of almond dukkah, snowpea and whole grain salad. This was a very big dish and lots of elements on the plate. It was quite nice but I think altogether it was a bit much. I would have loved to have the salad on its own, or see if served as a lunch dish with bits of duck in it.
K got the pork cheek. This was a very fatty and crispy on the outside. The meat inside was nice and tender, but as a whole dish I can see it being very heavy. The butternut squash puree does well to balance it and the baby vegetable makes it feel less guilty.
We also got a couple of carb loaded sides to share. We picked the fries with chipotle aioli; and the rosemary and parmesan polenta chips. The fries were very disappointing, the main thing that caught my eye on the menu was the chipotle aioli part and it was hardly chipotle, felt just like a slightly coloured aioli. The chipotle needed to be stronger in my opinion. The fry also wasn't a fry, it was thick cut, so it should be called a chip. The rosemary, parmesan polenta chips were a lot better, strong rosemary and parmesan crumbs on a crisp and fluffy polenta chip.
We never got to dessert because we were pretty full after mains and wanted to save room for N2.
Overall 14/20. It's an interesting take on fine food. Creative with big serving sizes. Just I think it's too much going on 1 plate for most of their dishes. It good but I think their menu could do with some fine tuning. I would go back, as I'm still interested in trying their brunch menu.