What it’s like at The Corn Stores in Reading
PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:00 15 May 2019
Sarah Rodi went to the revamped historic landmark, The Corn Stores in Reading, to check out their steak menu
I knew I was going to love this place, and that moment of realisation came long before I stepped through the door, right about when I clocked the steak menu online!
Set across three floors, the Victorian pub − once used for storing corn − has recently been revamped by Rarebreed Dining.
The lovely Camila welcomed us at the door, and offered to show us around the Grade-II listed building. This ravamped historic landmark in Reading on Forbury Road, a few minutes' walk from the train station, features a cocktail bar on the ground floor, a steak restaurant on the first floor and a members' floor at the top, with an exclusive lounge and bar. (Camila mentioned members get exclusive benefits throughout the site and across the Rarebreed Group, and I was thinking: "I want in!")
It's a nice touch that original elements of the building have been left in, such as the unique lift mechanism, flagstone floors and exposed beams. Meantime Brewery fresh beer tanks also appear on each floor, serving craft beer.
But it's the impressive cocktail menu that caught our attention, so we sat in the ground-floor bar and I ordered a Rhubarb Rhubarb, which was a perfect blend of Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb Liqueur, Aperol, lemon juice, egg white, sugar syrup and rhubarb bitters, shaken and served in a coupe glass. It was so good, I drank it too quickly, so just had to have a second.
I loved the colour scheme in the bar − blush velvet and navy blue − very modern and sophisticated. This is the ideal place to come for after-work drinks, on a date, or on a Saturday evening with your friends.
When our table was ready, we made our way upstairs, past the cuts of meat in the dry ager fridges. I had been salivating over the menu for weeks, and now it was decision time. What to pick?
Charismatic Joshua was on hand to advise us. He said The Corn Stores is all about the meat, cooked in their signature style on their Robata Chargrill.
I settled on the bone marrow to start as it was something different. When it arrived, I wasn't disappointed. The marrow was soft and light, and just melted in your mouth, and complemented the crispy Yorkshire pudding.
It was a given that I'd have a steak for my main course, and I went for the shoulder cut flat-iron steak. The description said it had "an outstanding flavour" and was a "lesser-known cut that packs a punch". And it did. The portions were huge, and the steak, cooked to perfection, was tender, full of flavour and had no fat; the Cafe de Paris butter sauce divine. And paired with the beef fat chips (delicious), salad, plus sesame green beans and Savoy and bacon cabbage on the side, it was top-notch. Washed down with a lively Pinot Grigio Rosé from Italy, I wanted to send my compliments to the chef, John Sparks.
I didn't waste a bit, so I was more than satisfied after the main course, but Joshua insisted we had a pudding, so we chose the rum and raisin bread and butter pudding with homemade brioche and cinnamon ice cream. A wonderful ending to a wonderful meal. A rare treat indeed.
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