Eleanor O’Kane tantalised her tastebuds at Bruno Loubet’s new restaurant
When in France, I often wonder why all the fresh vegetables in the market never manage to make their way into local restaurant dishes, which are, more often than not, meat based. Bruno Loubet, chef-owner of Grain Store, is determined to buck this trend and show us that the humble vegetable can be the basis for fine flavours. Carnivores, fear not: the menu includes meat, but it’s really in the creative use of tubers, roots, bulbs and buds that Loubet comes into his own. Even my pre-dinner cocktail contained sweet pumpkin puree.
The setting, a short walk from St Pancras and King’s Cross railway stations, is airy and industrial, with kitchen and dining areas merging into one energy-filled space. The menu is eclectic, but there are flashes of Loubet’s French heritage throughout, from the Androuet fromagerie cheeses to the Opinel steak knives. To start we ordered figs and roasted goat’s cheese, and an indulgent truffle risotto. To follow, my companion enjoyed sea bream and rich lentil dahl that was bursting with flavours, while my wood pigeon kebab with chunks of roasted butternut squash and onion confit was a taste experience. The lively white Languedoc wine suited the ambience.
Over a shared dessert of apple, blackberry and elderberry crumble served with olive oil ice cream, we agreed that it’s not so hard to get your ‘five a day’ after all.
Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street
London N1C 4AB
Tel: 0207 324 4466
www.grainstore.comMains from £9.50