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The Grain Store

Home > Melbourne > Restaurants | Lunch | Brunch | Unusual Things to do
by TheOnlyFiona (subscribe)
In real life, I do discuss food exactly like how I write in my food review articles. As always my food reviews are scored only on what I've tried and the service expected of that type of establishment.
Published April 26th 2014
Can you read the hipster menu items?
Like the naan bread test, the Grain Store offers a method to troll (antagonise for fun) your friends. Enter the hipster menu reading test. Very simply, it offers an indicator of both your friends' hipster level and ability to lie lie lie. This is more fun when you have another friend as an accomplice and you arrive earlier to prepare yourselves.

The procedure:

The procedure is simple: go through the menu to understand all the fancy terms first. Either do this by using Google on your mobile phone or my personal favourite of interrogate the waiter. Decide on an order and wait. Then when the unsuspecting friend arrives, casually pass him or her the menu and tell them you've already ordered.

The fun begins when you watch their reaction. Are they a seamless liar who bluffs through it? Are they so hipster they know everything on the menu? Are they honest and ask for help? The most important thing is to make sure you and your accomplice do not ruin it by giggling/smiling.

Grain Store decor
Grain store decor

Tips for winning/staying calm and appearing like an aloof know-it-all:

talk about how easy it is to overlook the entrance;
talk about how you couldn't open the glass door in front of the waiting room until you realised you had to go through a door inside the cafe;
observe how the waiting room is actually is a lobby for a corporate building, that is doesn't have enough seats and has some art on display;
wonder out loud about how you and your other friend (accomplice) thought your friend would see you in the waiting room and think you look like you're in a window display;
talk about how creepy it is to walk to the toilet where the hallway is dark and ends in an empty office under construction;
comment on how the kitchen looks like its in one room, while the main dining area looks like a combination of a dining room and lounge room;
try pointing out how the setting looks like a university campus restaurant but with better furnishings;
comment on how the colour scheme is mostly a wooden brown and white with some teal on the chairs.

The score card is as follows:

1. Can read the whole menu and pronounce new super food words like quinoa (KEEN- wah).

Yes \/ No \/
Go to question 2 Honest

2. Can answer you when you ask them what the fancy terms mean?

Yes \/ No \/
Hipster Liar

The food:

orange juice and a mixed fruit juice
orange juice and a mixed fruit juice

After the game be sure to enjoy the food, where hopefully your friend will be good-natured enough to not mind. We shared some polenta chips. They each had the bacon steak and blood plum creme caramel respectively while I had the mushroom rosti. I couldn't remember the exact full names of the dishes or find them on the website, so you'll have to decode the menu yourself if you want to try these. My friends enjoyed the bacon steak, caramel dessert and the mixed fruit juice.

Bacon steak
Bacon steak

Caramel dessert
Caramel dessert

The polenta chips were best eaten straightaway. They were hot, crunchy and interesting. However once they cool off the grainy texture of the filling becomes apparent and you know they will never replace potato chips. The mushroom rosti (cool potato cake) unfortunately featured more mushroom than rosti. The rosti had a slightly stir-fried/fried but doesn't really look like it outside with a mash potato soft centre. The runny eggs were a good surprise. However once the novelty wore off the combination of green garnish and mushroom didn't quite work.

Palenta chips
Palenta chips

Mushroom rosti
Mushroom rosti

The Grain Store is not for those who want to stay in their comfort zone. For most people exploration and an 'I'm going to try new things' attitude is essential. Even if you can't read the menu you can still have fun at the expense of friends with the hipster menu reading test.

Experience Summary:

Service 5 stars; great service, even the brand-new-first-day-on-the-job waiter took my menu interrogation with humour

Atmosphere 4 stars; busy, crowded, and game on with the right friends.

Food 3.5 stars; a very different, very healthy menu that has me missing my meat options however it is good for food experimentation.

Uniqueness factor A menu that is hard to decode, a perfect test. Have fun at/with friends on the hipster menu reading test
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Why? A menu that is the perfect test
Phone: 9972 6993
Where: 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Your Comment
The food looks wonderful; I wouldn't miss the meat at all.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12626) 2503 days ago
I've been wanting to try this place for a while, it does seem quite different and interesting!
by Mon's Adventure (score: 2|187) 2502 days ago
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