I was one excited bunny when I found out that Bill Granger, my food guru, was opening his first London restaurant last week. As we’d had a fairly hectic week, Hubby promised that we’d head over to Westbourne Grove for brunch this morning.
We arrived at Granger & Co at 11.20 a.m. and were greeted by a very friendly waiter who told us that there was a bit of a wait. One of his colleagues, who I’m guessing leads front-of-house, a very friendly lady called Sonia (I think!) took our name down and told us that at present, the waiting period was an hour or so. I had warned Hubby before hand that there was a possible long-wait. She said that we were welcome to wait or come back in an hour. There was a bar with stools but every one of them was taken by people on the waiting list, so we made our way to wait at the far end of the bar. If there was anywhere I’d rather wait, it was in Granger & Co and not wandering outside for an hour.
The restaurant was extremely busy, but as we made our way to the back, who did we spot but the man himself, Bill Granger and his wife Natalie. He was right beside us, but was busy with his guests, otherwise I would have said hello (yes, I know no shame). We had Hubby’s iPad with us. We were meant to be going to Ascot in the afternoon so I started reading the form and picked out my horses (we ended up not going and placed bets online – I’ve just won a race!).
After 20 minutes, two bar stools became available and we moved to the bar and ordered a chai for me and a latte for Hubby. We sipped our drinks while soaking up the atmosphere and the restaurant was buzzing. It is located on a corner, with double aspect views with lots of windows, giving it a light and airy feel. I remember bills on Surry Hills is also located at a corner lot and has a similar sort of brightness about it. Clearly, a winning formula.
After waiting an hour, we were finally shown to our seats by the window. Hubby ordered another latte and I got a hot drop for my chai. We ordered sweetcorn fritters served with bacon for Hubby (£10.90), ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter (£9.90) for me, and a bircher muesli with sliced apples and dates to share (£4.80). The wait for the food was almost 40 minutes. We expected this as the restaurant was extremely busy and also there are normally teething problems in the first week. We suffered from food envy as food was served to our fellow diners – most of them ordered a dish which contained Bill’s signature scrambled eggs.
Our food finally arrived (all 3 dishes), and we tucked into the hot food immediately. I had a taste of Hubby’s sweetcorn fritters which was also cooked with tomatoes. It was gorgeous with a lovely sweet/savoury flavour. My ricotta hotcakes were served with banana and honeycomb butter and they were utterly indulgent. We both shared the bircher muesli, which had generous slices of green apple, chopped dates and almonds. If I had one small complaint, it would be that the apples were cut to big making it slightly awkward to eat. Perhaps shred the apple or cut the slices in half, lengthways?
The portions were generous, although I heard the girl at the table next to us that she would have liked more bacon with her sweetcorn, and said she could easily do bircher muesli at home.
The reason I like Bill’s recipes is because you can attempt them at home. He appreciates that people lead busy lives – Bill himself has 3 girls, and several businesses to run. His recipes are encouraging, simple but generous in flavour.
Although service was slow, the waiting staff were very friendly. Bill chose them well.
We asked for the bill (no pun intended) and when it appeared, I realised that they had forgotten to charge us for our drinks. I wasn’t going to rip-off a man who’d just opened up his business (not that I ever do), so I pointed the omission to our waitress. She went to sort it out, but she appeared 5 minutes later to say that it was on the house.
That’s goodwill for you. Or shall I say goodbill?
We paid just under £30 for the food, which included 12.5% service charge.
Will we go back? Definitely. Perhaps for a midweek dinner soon.