On a bit of a whim, I ended up going to Grain Store with a few friends late Saturday morning for brunch. There was some concern that we would have to wait quite a while for a table this new(ish) venture by Bruno Loubet and the Zetter Group's Michael Benyan and Mark Sainsbury (they've worked together before - see London Guide: Bistrot Bruno Loubet), but it wasn't a problem. Grain Store is located at Granary Square, the redeveloped and restored former barge loading site off the canal.
We couldn't be seated until our full party had arrived, but this was a great excuse to sit outside on a gorgeously sunny spring day and drink good coffee. Unfortunately, the restaurant doesn't allow people to eat outside, so we moved into the large, sympathetically-restored former grain house for brunch.
I, for one, think that brunch is always best with a cocktail. It was pointed out to me by an Australian that drinking with brunch is a very American thing, but I'm not sure if that's well-founded. Anyway, I ordered the Campari Cooler, with Campari, carrot, lemon and orange blossom, and it was delicious and refreshing and didn't feel at all boozy (in a good way). Deciding what food to order was really difficult, but I ultimately went for the Grain Store baked beans, scrambled egg and Toulouse sausage. This was a really simple dish, but it was perfectly cooked. The scrambled eggs were the perfect amount of moist and were seasoned very well. The Toulouse sausage was smoky and crisp on the outside. The baked beans, which were house-made in tomato sauce (British style) were definitely the best baked beans that I've ever had. With two small pieces of toast, this was also a perfectly-sized brunch. Two of my friends ordered the tomato, grilled aubergine, cucumber, fresh herbs and boiled egg salad with flat bread, which looked great and fresh, but the verdict was that more flatbread was needed for the amount of salad. Our other friend ordered the Korean slaw, chicken burger and fried egg on a muffin, which also looked great.
The brunch menu at Grain Store is so interesting, that I definitely want to come back just for brunch alone. Although, there are some similarities with the lunch and dinner menu, and there is a surprise menu for £35 per head that I would love to try.
Ratings: (numbers out of 10, £ out of 4)
Overall experience: 9
(Above images from Grain Store website)