Despite how small it looks on the outside, this little cafe is quite has the spacious dining area. The Grain Store has a lovely warm and welcoming feel to it. Its warm lighting makes creates this cosy atmosphere that doesn’t make me want to leave once in there. The light wood dining tables and chairs gives off a modern country feel to it in contrast to the brick bridges and railways surrounding the cafe. With an open display of food next to where the coffees are made, it was like as if I had entered my own kitchen.
Unfortunately though, service was not fantastic. Even though our waitress (who also looked like the manager or owner) addressed our needs, I felt that I needed to call for her attention half the time, while other people who were seated late were being served before us. And at the time that my friend and I went, the was not half even half full yet. That was probably the only thing left a slightly bad taste in my mouth. Apart from that, I was impressed by some of the food that was offered on the menu. They weren’t completely unique, but there was some interesting options available.
I decided to go with a vegetarian option and ordered the Portobello mushroom with raclette potato rÖsti poached eggs, hazelnut hollandaise $18.00 (above) [+ $4.00 extra spinach]. What can I say, the serving size was just right and it tasted fantastic. The hazelnut in the hollandaise sauce gave it a slightly nutty texture. Having said that, for $22 it does slightly push things in the slightly too expensive category for just a breakfast.
My friend on the other hand originally wanted to order the Chilli and fennel sausage with winter vegetable hash, poached egg, Russian red kale and pear & cider relish, but they were out of the chilli and fennel sausage and suggested if black pudding (below) was okay. Considering that neither of us have ever tried it before (and yes I know that black pudding is essentially blood sausage), we weren’t too bothered by the change. It was after all an opportunity to try something different. Now I’m not completely new to eating cooked blood before, because there’s a Vietnamese congee dish where cooked pig’s blood is sometimes added to. Blood doesn’t have any really strong flavours once cooked. It does have a distinctive gelatinous texture so it’d be interested to see how that would translate into being a sausage.
The black pudding sausage tasted alright. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but it was surprisingly quite nice in the amount that was given. I probably wouldn’t be able to eat much more than that and it’s not entirely something I would have on a regular basis either. The rest of the dish was delicious though. I especially like the winter vegetable hash. The dish would have been much nicer had they not run out of the chilli and fennel sausage but there’s not much you can do when that happens. The rest of the menu offered some nice alternatives but considered I would not order anything that says pancake, granola, yoghurt or muesli (because I can just make it at home for less than half the price), there weren’t too many other interesting options too choose from.