Warm cookies fresh out of the oven have the power to turn the tide on even the worst day – and the people at Grain Store know it. Here at the CBD's newest high-class, whole food eatery that's showing you don’t need to wear hemp and patchouli to eat conscientiously, the chocolate chip cookies in question come four to a board with a glass of cold milk for dipping and sipping. The Grain folk need ten minutes’ notice to bake the crisp-edged, soft-centred comfort-dessert-on-demand, so order as your main meal arrives.
The whole room is decorated in rich cream paint with marble tabletops, white enamelware jugs and maidenhair ferns tipping the look into landed gentry territory. And land is a big focus here. The fruit, vegetables, cheese and charcuterie on the menu are locally sourced and as close to organic and free range as possible.
Short on time? Follow the lead of the local constabulary in their DayGlo vests and make a beeline for the 'table of inspiration'. It’s an enormous kitchen island laden with chicken sandwiches, pies, quiche and salads.
There’s a plate of the world’s tiniest bacon and scrambled egg sambos but for our money the fish finger sarnie is the pick of the table. Forget buttermilk chicken on a sandwich – golden crumbed white fish with a generous dollop of dill mayo takes home gold in the fried-foods-on-bread competition.
The crowd is a mix of well-heeled corporate and ladies-who-lunch, making the competition for table space and the attention of the wait-staff fierce. The gnocchi, pungent with soft Milawa tomme cheese, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, and brown butter isn’t quite as exciting as we’d hoped.
There are plenty of grab-a-coffee-and-a-crust joints down this end of Flinders Lane but Grain Store is bringing enviro-chic to the CBD mix.