Grays Coffee Shop in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter

I attended a couple of fantastic workshops held at the LCB Depot in Leicester’s cultural quarter, where there are loads of interesting and creative on-goings such as exhibitions and activities, along with floors filled with design, media and technology organisations/businesses.

But for me the real reason worth visiting was their cafe on the bottom floor called, Grays Coffee Shop. I’ve been here before for a drink and snack but these last two days have given me the privilege of having lunch from their fantastic menu (which seems to change daily too). I’ve heard that the guys who opened the cafe were actually chefs in London and have even fed thousands of people at the Olympics (apparently being told there’ll be 100 to feed but 1000 turned up, something like that). So straight away you know they’ll be knowledgeable and quite talented!

The counter was the first thing I was drawn to and if I’m honest, who wouldn’t with this sign:

Ice cream sign

Before I’ve even ordered lunch I’ve chosen dessert (!) which was bound to happen since home-made ice-cream is all that’s been on my mind since I bought an ice-cream machine two weeks ago. The lady behind the counter finally got my attention after my gawking and told me the other flavours they had which included Peach Melba… instantly I knew I’d have just that.
Finally checking to see what I’ll have for my actual lunch, I noticed it said home-made on the rest of their menu too. See the picture below of what I chose; which was their curried pork balls with lime pickle and mixed salad sandwich – which could’ve had the addition of chips for £1 but I didn’t feel the need this time.

Curried Pork Balls with lime pickle and salad sarnie

Together this cost me less than £5 and I’m glad I didn’t go with the chips as the sandwich was really satisfying, with real meat slightly flavoured with spices but not too overwhelming, then a ‘zing!’ coming from the lime pickle and freshness from the salad in a fluffy, soft bun.

Peach Melba Icecream homemade

The Peach Melba ice-cream was lush, perfect for the hot weather and to finish with. You can just tell how creamy and smooth this was, I want more looking at the image!
The second day, I tried their salmon and prawn fish cake with salad and wow, so good. Satisfying again and felt like everything was taken into consideration. We even got a little quirky, chess like piece to take so they know which table ordered what (see below):

Cutlery and chess like piece

Anything quirky sits well with me in all honesty!

Salmon and prawn fish cakes

The fish cakes was a simple dish but there were heaps of flavours coming through; spring onions in the creamy potato mix, gorgeous prawns and salmon being welcomed throughout each bite with the crunchy outer breadcrumbs and tartar sauce on the side. The salad was great too with mixed salad leaves including rocket, (which is my favourite) and different coloured tomatoes. It all felt like good quality and wholesome food with great prices… and that’s basically all it comes down to for me when eating out.

Finished dish

Enough said!

Chicken caesar salad

Now normally I don’t take pictures of everyone’s food that I ate with but this chicken Caesar salad my friend had was pretty impressive. It came with home-made croutons, bacon and parmesan and I quote, “This is the best chicken Caesar salad I’ve ever had you know! They’ve not just thrown in plain unflavoured chicken so it’s much more tasty and because of that, it just seems more thought through.” – great comment and that’s why I wanted to share it.
So there you have it, plenty of reasons to check this place out. I look forward to going back and anticipate what will be on their menu that day. It’s nice to be able to eat food that feels like it’s been made by someone who knows real home cooking and the ability to think of all the small details and combine flavours well. Lunch can be more than a sarnie and sausage roll – here you’ll find food that’s creative, fun and extremely delicious… Looking forward to the next time!