Grain Store re-run

I knew heading to Grain Store in Melbourne on a Sunday morning for brunch with 6 people without a reservation was going to be a bit of a stretch, but these Canberrans didn’t mind sitting outside because we were hungry and it wasn’t that cold comparatively. The only caveat was that we had to go inside to order and pay (no table service), which we were happy to oblige with.

Beverages~

Hot chocolate Mork 70% dark, handcrafted in Melbourne, sweetened only with coconut blossom sugar ($4.50). Being a 70% dark hot chocolate, it was on the intense bitter side. My friend had to sweeten it a little with raw sugar.Prana Chai hand-made and blended in Melbourne from all natural ingredients and 100% Australian quality honey blended with tea and whole spices ($4.50). I love how they have chosen locally based items, it really shows that they have given the same attention to their beverage menu as well as their food items. This was a beautiful chai steeped in soy milk, I would have preferred it a touch sweeter though.Large flat white ($4.50). TimmyC quickly ordered another after drinking the first one.Brunch Weekends 8:00am – 3:00pm~

Despite being really busy, beverages were served rather promptly, quickly followed by food.

Wild mushrooms and poached eggs polenta, smoked tomato emulsion, pecorino ($20.00).Two free range eggs cooked to your liking on sour dough ($11.00) with a side of dry cured bacon ($5.00). They also gave TimmyC some sort of chilli jam which I loved and I spread it all over his bread and then ate it all.Portobello mushroom and raclette potato rosti poached eggs, spinach leaves, hazelnut hollandaise ($18.00). The mushrooms were plump and juicy, I found the potato rosti had a strong thyme flavour but it was offset by the fluffy potato. I really enjoyed the hazelnut hollandaise which topped off the whole breakfast perfectly. I could eat this every day if someone made it for me.Coconut semolina porridge and brulee banana lemongrass apple coulis, vanilla rhubarb, pistachio ($15.00).Dry cured bacon and smoked mozzarella bagel egg sunny side up, chipotle aioli, house ketchup ($16.00). I loved how the yolk pooled in the hole of the bagel. Definitely more upmarket than your average bacon and egg roll.Desserts~

Chocolate chip cookies and milk baked to order, please allow 10 minutes ($12.00). I am so glad that my friend ordered this. The aroma was absolutely divine with the perfect combination of cookie crunch and gooey melted chocolate chips that you can only get when fresh out of the oven. I think more cafes should do this, YUM!Crunchy and gooey, just how all cookies should be.What I love about their menu is that they have good ol’ breakfast classics like pancakes and eggs on toast but if you’re a little more adventurous, there were plenty of options. I found it hard to decide what I wanted because there was so many good choices.

As we left (closer to midday), it was starting to get really busy with other people sitting outside and a long queue for people waiting for tables.

Venue: Grain Store

Address: 517 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone(03) 9972 6993

Oliver Brown – Manuka

It seems like chocolate cafes are popping up faster than frozen yoghurt stalls (remember them? Where did they all go?) and the latest ones to open their franchising doors in Canberra are Oliver Brown now in three locations: Civic, Dickson and Manuka.

This is more a post so I remember the opening hours and not winging it like I did the other night when we drove here and weren’t sure if they’d still be open. Being a cold night most people opted for hot chocolates (starting from $5.50) which were apparently very tasty but I was swayed by their gelato thick shake ($8.00); I’m always on the look out for something resembling the thickness of the squishee from The Simpsons. I chose salted caramel as my gelato flavour and although it was thick, it didn’t have much of a salt flavour to enhance the caramel. I think they don’t store their gelato well and it is left with a sticky skin on the outside, when you see it you’ll know what I’m talking about. I think I’ll just stick with the hot chocolates.
Baked churros for two freshly baked upon order, sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar served with premium Belgium chocolate ($12.50). These take a little longer than the beverages but worth the wait because they are hot and slightly crispy. I wish whoever was serving us that night didn’t have such a heavy hand with the cinnamon though.

There is a lot of seating inside and out, you have to order and pay at the counter but the staff are super friendly and will bring your order to your table.Just remember they are opened 7 days and close at 11pm!

Venue: Oliver Brown (Manuka)

Address: 6a/1-18 Flinders Way, Manuka, ACT 2680

Phone: (02) 6181 8493

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 7am to 11pm

Saturday – Sunday 8am to 11pm

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