I ate here a couple of weeks ago, after Caravan next door was full. The main course I had was interesting and nice, but so small I could have finished in 90 seconds – so small that we went for tapas elsewhere afterwards. Considering the Grain Store isn't cheap, it worked out as an expensive evening! Our waitress was good, but the front of house were a little short with us for not having a booking. All in all, I didn't really 'get' this place – the menu, the decor, its positioning. I probably won't go back.
Kings Cross and St Pancras
© Amy Murrell
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Mon Jun 10 2013
The one-time industrial wasteland north of King’s Cross station has been transformed by a hugely ambitious urban regeneration project. Grain Store occupies just one part of a vast former Victorian warehouse. Most of the rest of the building has been imaginatively transformed into Central Saint Martins, and so the forecourt, Granary Square, is now perpetually thronged with fashionably dressed students. Outdoor café tables are ready for diners and drinkers willing to brave the elements.
Grain Store inhabits its warehouse corner a little uneasily, but it’s prettied up with an open kitchen, batterie de cuisine and wine racks, reminiscent of a Carluccio’s in a shopping mall. The resemblance ends there.
The patron of this excellent new restaurant is Bruno Loubet, a chef who made his mark on London’s dining scene with the sensational Bistrot Bruno in Soho (1993-’95) and then, more recently, Bistrot Bruno Loubet in Clerkenwell (2010-present).
Loubet is Bordeaux-born, and his cooking is grounded in the classical traditions of south-west France, but not bound by them. The menu is a pick ’n’ mix of ingredients and cuisines, yet there is a consistency of style and imaginative, successful flavour pairings that is recognisably Loubet.
Vegetables are his current passion. Pretty colours and simple preparation made a platter of baked beetroots, pickled onions and a strained goat yoghurt labneh into an attractive dish; a dill oil dressing made the disparate flavours hang together well. Curiously, this dish wasn’t marked as vegetarian, though ten other dishes were, plus there were two vegan options (from a total of 26). That’s a lot of veggie action.
Meat is also given serious attention, though used mainly as the sideshow. A cube of sticky pork belly was served as an accompaniment to a corn and quinoa tamale, the filling kept very moist by the corn husk wrapper while griddled.
The dessert list doesn’t play safe either. Strawberries both fresh and cooked in a balsamic jam were topped with a spicy horseradish ice cream: an unlikely yet inspired combination.
The big catch with Grain Store is that the phone number diverts you to an online booking site, which shows virtually no free tables for the next month. But some are held back for walk-ins – you have to arrive early and hope for the best. This isn’t too bad an option as there’s an attached bar with excellent cocktails conceived by barmeister Tony Conigliaro. And if you don’t get in at all, Grain Store is still a great wingman for the area’s other good new dining options.
Reviewed by Guy Dimond
Grain Store Granary Square
- Cross Street:
1-3 Stable Street
- Venue phone:
020 7324 4466
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Fri; 11am-3pm Sat; 11am-4pm Sun. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat
Tube: King's Cross St Pancras tube/rail
Main courses £12-£22.50. Set lunch £35 6 courses. Set dinner £30 5 courses
- Granary Square
- 020 7324 4466
- Granary Square
- Grain Store
Average User Rating
3.6 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:1
Been here twice now and both times great food and great service. In fact, the service on our first visit was so spectacular that I would almost say the best waiter I have ever had. So attentive without being over the top and an immaculate knowledge of the menu and each dish (I ask a LOT of questions as I love my food!). Every time I go there are so many options I want to try on the menu - will be coming back here for a long time. The ambiance is fabulous as well with a great layout and perfect for a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon.
The food was excellent. So much so we bought the cookbook afterwards. It was a fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends. The only gripe we had was why were we initially denied a table even though there were empty tables (which is extra strange considering Sunday is no-booking - or did I understand this wrong?)
I was slightly wary about venturing into salubrious Kings Cross en familie to a birthday lunch at Bruno Loubet's newest culinary addition, 'The Grain Store'. It was not only the location but the veggie heavy menu (not a ' kids menu ' in sight) that vexed me. Thankfully my preconceived ideas were misplaced and I was enlightened to the wonders of Granary Square. This area has been given a complete industrial makeover London style, with popping fountains that move to the beat (big hit with the kids) , luxurious fake grass and benches by the canal side, an abundance of deck-chairs and 2 fabulous restaurants side by side (one being The Grain Store, the other Caravan). The Grain store is a cavernous space with a high end, industrial chic interior and an impressive open kitchen. On a warm day the atmosphere and tables spill out onto the square giving us a London version of a Roman piazza. Staff and service create a trendy, relaxed but accommodating feel. There is a mysterious music man in the corner of the bar playing an old piano which adds to the eclectic feel of the place. I understand there is also a superb bartender that makes savoury cocktails, unfortunately I could not indulge at the time. Back to the food, initially I thought there was a distinct lack of fodder for carnivores but look harder and you will be rewarded. We had a hearty, rustic rabbit pie, all buttery with melting bunny meat. But, this place is about the might of the vegetable and sated any meaty need. Highlights included a pretty sweet salmon and melon salad, moreish cornbread, lush chilli con veggie, creamy risotto and interesting combinations of vegetables and spices from around the globe. Our kids happily munched on risotto, chips and veg. Desserts were light and delicious, spiced candied tomatoes and panna cotta topped a pleasing meal. The menu is exciting and novel and is based on Bruno's travels around the world. This restaurant and location heralds a new era of cuisine, architecture and London life.
Great interior, shame about the staff. Foodwise it was average - ordered the pancakes as recommended by TO and found them to be dry and bland - if you want great American Style pancakes I would go anywhere but here!
I recently ate here for the first time as I work around the area, to put it simply: Food - really tasty and amazing value for money. They have a great selection of dishes - we tried more than 6 dishes and there were no complaints. All of us were quite impressed, Venue - really nice and spacious. There is no elbow to elbow seating here, and even in such an expansive space they have manged to make it homey with all the scattered knickknacks. Service - some of the worst in London. Our waitress was amazing and extremely courteous. However, the restaurant manager and receptionist/want to be restaurant manager were appalling - by the end of the night we had been sneered at, scolded, and told that we should be thankful for even getting a table. This really would have been one of my new go to places for friends and clients but after my experience with specific staff members its officially on my never again list. Its unfortunate, my recommendation to the restaurant would be to invest to better trained staff as they are driving customers away with their attitude.
I went with a group of 6 for a friend's birthday dinner. The food was absolutely impeccable (we went for the Surprise tasting menu and plenty of drinks- excellent value), the service however left much to be desired. Our server was good. We were told that we had an hour and a half at our table and that we may be asked to move if we're late- we were more than happy to comply. Before ordering we had asked our server whether we could order the tasting menu given the time that we had for our table- we were assured that it would be plenty of time. We finished each course promptly as it arrived (the food was so good that it didn't take long to disappear). At 9:45, who we assumed to be the manager of the restaurant arrived at our table and asked why we were still there when we were suppose to have given up the table at 9 (we were still waiting on 2 courses) and why had we ordered more food (which we hadn't) and what was she going to do with us- she then left exasperated (we found out later that it was the person at reception named Caroline?). The manager of the restaurant and Caroline(?) returned and told us to quickly to move to another table. The manager then went on to "scold" our server in front of us. As you can imagine this was a pretty awkward situation and we told them that we were happy to move and had been anticipating it since 9. When we paid our bill we gave our server a generous tip, thanked her and apologised if we had put her in trouble with her manager. She was extremely considerate and in turn apologised for the behaviour of Caroline(?). As we were about to leave, the manager came to our table and said that he had heard that our table had a complaint about the move (we naively expected some form of apology). When my friend clarified that we weren't upset by the move but rather the mannerism in which we were moved, the manager actually told my friend to be quiet and "please let him finish". The manager then carried on to say that he appreciated us taking the tasting menu but that had meant that we had overstayed on our table and had to be moved and that he had 45 staff to manage and hence will always side with his staff, before finishing with a happy birthday to my friend. We were stunned. Needless to say we will be thinking very hard before returning (earlier my friends and I had thought of taking our clients for lunches etc there- very unlikely we'll be doing that now)
I have not eaten food as good as this since I was in Bordeaux at the wine show, excellent food, and a real joy to eat here. What a plus for London a chef who can really cook.
Excellent food - everything is cooked to perfection and beautifully presented without being pretentious. The drinks list was spot on, with an interesting variety of cocktails and a decent wine list. The staff are attentive, friendly and knowledgeable and the setting is very nice. An great new restaurant - and reasonably priced too; would definitely recommend!