Working on Flinders Lane should mean a heap of different lunch choices. Unfortunately I work at the end of Flinders Lane near the Docklands which hardly has any decent restaurants and cafes. The one saviour has been Threefold and now I have a new lunch option thanks to the opening of The Grain Store.
The Grain Store is light and bright with lots of natural wood, polished marble bench tops and stools stamped with “sit here”. Huge barn doors and a vegie box system give a country feel but the whole place is very polished and stylish. The menu reads like a simple list of soups, salads and mains, but the reality created here by chef Ingo Meissner is more arthouse than farmhouse.
Pumpkin soup ($11) is velvety smooth and comes topped with crunchy sourdough croutons, crisp sage leaves, asplash of sage oil and swirl of chantilly cream.
The tart of the day has been brilliant every time I’ve visited. The filling changes each day and might be leek and roasted pumpkin or broccoli and roasted tomato but what you can guarantee is that it will be a generous wedge of eggy tart in buttery pastry. There are also more serious lunch offerings like spatchcock ($25) and beef cheeks ($23) if you want to settle in for a long lunch in the private room.
There’s a wine list if you are having a full on lunch or coffee by St Ali if you are just after a quick lunch break. The prana chai is excellent and is served in its own teapot so you get more than one cup. Unfortunately I haven’t got to try the breakfast menu as it stops at 12 each day. The Grain Store would be just about the perfect addition to the ‘hood if it would just introduce an all day breakfast menu.
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Details: The Grain Store, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne City 3000 (Ph 03 03 9972 6993) Open: Mon-Thurs 7am-5pm, Fri 7am-8pm, Sat-Sun 8.30-4pm.