The Grain Store
517 Flinders Lane
Melbourne Vic 3000
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love the Grain Store (read my other post here) and really what’s not to love, it looks great, the service is fantastic and the food is absolutely delicious.
Now, even though I’ve spent the last year lunching all over the city, until this week, I was yet to enjoy lunch at the Grain Store (I know, the horror!). It has been on my to do list for ages because it has a great reputation, particularly for breakfast and lunch, but I’m not a fan of heading into the CBD during the week, so it’s taken me a while to tick this one off the list. Having said that, I’ve visited for dinner and it was just superb, so based on that I expected big things from lunch at it didn’t disappoint.
I arrived for a late lunch (I wanted to miss the business crowd) with bubs in tow and the staff were so incredibly lovely and accommodating, which is often difficult with my monstrosity of a stroller (seriously, I hate how big it is. If I had my time again I’d buy a much smaller stroller). Anyway, as it was mid afternoon I was starving, so I got pretty excited when I read the menu and there were just so many great options. In the end I settled on the chicken and spiced cauliflower salad (cider poached organic chicken & spiced cauliflower with new season figs, quinoa, garden peas, fior di latte, watermelon gazpacho), and no word of a lie within 5 minutes of placing my order, my salad was sitting in front of me.
This salad was AHHHMAAYZING! There have only been a couple of times that I’ve been impressed with a quinoa salad, and let me tell you this topped them all. The chicken was juicy, full of flavour and plentiful. That mixed with the fig, quinoa, cheese and watermelon, wow! I was absolutely above and beyond impressed with this dish, it was so perfectly balanced and just delicious.
59 Napier Street
Footscray Vic 3011
Every night of the week the Station Hotel is a buzz, filled to the brim with patrons looking to enjoy a great steak and a great steak they will get.
We visited for the first time last year and couldn’t wait to get back for more, so we jumped at the first opportunity to return (we booked the baby in with a sitter and made a night of it). I called mid week and was lucky enough to get booking for Saturday night, however it’s not always that easy to get a table, so if you’re planning on visiting make sure you book ahead.
Upon arrival, we walked through the packed bar to the dining room and were immediately seated along the wall in one of the timber bench seats. I love an old pub and the warm feeling you get in the dining room, and this one is no different, although it is fresh and modern, it still has some of that old pub charm (I’m a sucker for a timber bench seat).
I got pretty excited when I looked at the menu, it was steak, steak and more steak, although not to worry steak feigns, there are heaps of other options too – chicken, fish, pasta ect. We didn’t order any starters because I wanted to save all of my stomach capacity for a steak. In the end we ordered a steak each, I picked the
My steak was just as I’d expected, cooked perfectly and absolutely delicious. Often when you order a steak and it’s served with a salad, the salad is a bit lacklustre, but not this one, it was dressed and seasoned perfectly, even though I was full from my steak I just couldn’t stop eating that salad. The onion rings were also a big hit, crunchy on the outside and nice and tender on the inside, the boys mauled them. My favourite side dish was the apple, cabbage and mint salad, it was so sweet and tasty, needless to say I went back for multiple serves.
I was just about exploding at the seams after we finished our mains, but I couldn’t leave without enjoying dessert. The Station Hotel has a very classic dessert list – chocolate mousse, bread and butter pudding, crème brulee, and sticky date pudding amongst many others. In the end I settled on the chocolate souffle because it was going to take 30 minutes to cook and I need the time to let my main settle. When it arrived, I was a bit daunted by its size, but I’m always up for a dessert challenge, so I got right into it. It was very light and subtle, but in the end it got the better of me and I had to admit defeat, there was just no way I could finish it after my main. My husband on the other hand ordered the crème brulee and inhaled it. I managed to steal a spoonful from him and it had such a lovely creamy texture and strong vanilla bean taste – delicious!