Review: The Grain Store
ucked away on the upper level of number 30 Victoria Street, The Grain Store is an unassuming cosy hideaway in the heart of the busy city centre.
My companion and I were slightly confused to be greeted by a rather ordinary looking closed door. However, it made sense to want to keep the miserable weather away from the warm interior of the dining room that we were welcomed in to.
We sat down at our tucked away corner table by a window overlooking Victoria Street and struggled over the selection of tasty dishes on offer. In such establishments known for their quality of food, I’m always grateful for a shorter menu to tackle, especially since my friend and I are renowned for being unable to make a decision.
I opted for the roasted Gressingham duck breast with foie gras torchon and poached quince (£12.00), as I don’t often get the chance to eat game. My friend decided on the seared hand dived Orkney scallops with crispy pork belly and apple (£14.00). Both dishes were beautifully presented and arrived with a selection of the restaurant’s home made breads, which are baked fresh every morning and were the perfect addition to our light and tasty starters.
The dishes were relatively simple which was a great testament to the natural taste of the well-sourced products. This allowed for the high quality of the food to speak for itself. The side notes of my duck dish made it the perfect balance of flavours and texture. The same could be said of my companion’s dish, as the tenderness of the scallops worked well with the crunch of the pork belly and softer apple.
For the main course we each stuck to our theme of game and seafood; I decided on the saddle of roe deer, venison liver, roe deer parcel, curly kale and celeriac puree (£24.00) and my friend went for the seared sea bass with crab ravioli, clam and mussel veloute and avruga caviare (£20.00). Both were delicious, with so many well thought out additions to the main feature of meat and fish, you could see how carefully the chef thought of the combination of flavours and they all worked extremely well.
To round off the meal we decided to try out a selection of desserts too, I got the Bakewell tart with plum compote and homemade clotted cream (£6.75) and my companion got the vanilla pannacotta with autumn apples and calvados (£6.75). In comparison to the rest of the meal, dessert was a little disappointing. They were still tasty, but they didn’t give us the same sense of excitement as the previous two dishes when we were presented with the choices. The final course just didn’t have the same rustic feel to it as the starter and main did.
Overall, we enjoyed a really lovely meal in simple and understated surroundings overlooking one of my favourite streets in Edinburgh. The décor is warm and welcoming; the hunter green carpet with wooden furniture gives the restaurant a homely feel and the extras such as the clock and gilt-edged mirror add an elegant element. The original stone vaulting and archways provide an intimate setting for enjoying a meal, and the overall atmosphere was very relaxed – even with a large Christmas party going on in the next room!