The Grain Store
517 Flinders Lane
+61 3 9972 6993
I found out about the “Spoonfuls of Love” through Winston. It’s a cake store run by his cousins and they set up shop in little markets every couple of weeks to months. Several weeks ago, an expedition was organized to visit the store in the “Bend and Snap” market, followed by brunch in the city. Our sugar-hunting group consisted of Winston (of course), the one and only Queen of sweets Daisy, her partner Ricky and myself.
The spread by Spoonfuls of Love is varied and full of delectable, drool-worthy eye candy. I had worked up an appetite that morning having done a morning run with the Sausage, a BodyPump class and my very first Taekwondo lesson. I helped myself to the free samples and marvelled at the quality of each product. Sheer willpower stopped me from buying one of every single item (heck the entire store!) and I settled for 2 slices of cake, the pandan chiffon and the earl grey chiffon. It’s odd how being away from home changes your desires for certain foods. I wasn’t terribly a fan of pandan chiffon when I was growing up in Singapore, but having been deprived of it for almost 9 years, I leap at the very mention of it. The chiffons by Spoonsful of Love are perfect. The cakes are light and fluffy with retained spring in the texture. The flavours are genuine (no chemical nonsense here) and come out in a gentle, non-overpowering way. The next time I visit their store, I’ll be sure to go early and get a peanut butter tart, which I’ve heard is amazeballs, and the light cheese cake, which is cream cheese and sponge, topped with shredded tasty cheese.
Armed with our newly purchased prized goodies, we got into Daisy’s car and made our way across town to The Grain Store.
The Grain Store is fairly new and has already gained a positive reputation for brunch. It is open 7 days a week (despite being in the CBD), takes reservations, has a beautifully designed interior with a large seating capacity and most importantly, dishes up fancy brunch fare that is pretty damn good. Bright light spills in and bounces off the polished marble tables, giving the café an upbeat cheerful vibe.
There is a choice between St Ali’s Champion house blend or Axil’s seasonal espresso. The coffees are served in the very same cups as Axil Coffee Roasters. My piccolo latte (from the Axil beans) was fruity and well-made. The others had no complaints about their drinks either.
We decided to have a brunch dish each and share an entrée of polenta chips and a dessert of panna cotta. The polenta chips had great texture, with soft steaming polenta mush inside covered by crisp crunchy edges. The rosemary was somewhat inconspicuous and I felt something was missing, like a cheesy interior or a mustardy-dip to sit upon.
In true foodie fashion, we each set aside little tasting samples to pass around the table. That way, we’d get to try everybody’s dish! I loved the chilli and fennel sausage in Daisy’s brunch, it was beautifully seasoned with the perfect amount of fennel. Ricky’s salmon and asparagus dish was a pretty sight of green, white and coral. The grilled asparagus went all too well with the rich curd and smoky salmon. Winston’s brunch would seem carnivorous and heavy but it was uplifted by the mashed peas and braised cabbage.
I took a gamble and ordered a dish that contained hollandaise. I usually steer clear of it as I’m not a fan of viscid rich sauces. Despite me scraping all of the sauce to the side, the dish was well-made and I’m sure hollandaise fans would give it the thumbs up. I loved my meaty Portobello mushrooms with the pairing of hazelnuts and gooey poached eggs.
The waiter didn’t bat an eyelash when all 4 of us requested to share one dessert. The panna cotta had exquisite consistency with just the faintest scent of lavender. The salty pumpkin seeds provided a textural and flavour contrast. Alas, the golden toffee was way too sweet, even for our sweet queen Daisy!
Our adventure was extremely rewarding that day. We had a wonderfully satisfying meal at The Grain Store and also had a sugar package to go home with, thanks to Spoonfuls of Love. I can’t wait for our next food-hunting quest!