I have quite a few cookery books in my kitchen and there are several written by an Australian chef Bill Granger ( and they are very thoroughly used by me, as his recipes are always full of flavour, are fairly easy to make and they have a tendency to become popular staples with my family and friends ), who my Australian friends tell me is considered to be an institution of sorts in his own country. What started out as a passion for cooking in a small cafe over time transformed into an empire, part of which finally appeared last year in London.
Granger & Co is a light and airy restaurant/cafe, where there is always a nice buzz, be it if you pop there in the morning, for Bill’s divine ricotta pancakes ( they sometimes give you only a small portion of honeycomb butter-come on, if one has pancakes it might as well be full works ! ) and a smooth cappuccino, for a buzzy yet relaxed lunch or dinner, or even if you pop in for a slice of toasted coconut bread and a healthy smoothie at the bar. Somehow the place feels very laid back, with attentive but unobtrusive service most of the time ( sometimes the staff can be aloof and there seems to be one waitress who always seems to have a too intense look on her face, which almost makes you want to turn around and leave, like an unwanted date ) and always great food.
There are always fresh flowers on the counter top and the bathroom is not only perfectly clean-many places in London, please take notice ! and Aesop hand wash and cream by the sink-that’s another Australian institution and if you fancy stocking up on their goodies, the shop is only down the road.
What I particularly like about Bill’s food is that it is inventive, with a twist, yet he manages to offer you perfect comfort foods, like five grain porridge with buttered apples & brown sugar, lamb meatballs with tomato & tamarind, with cashew nut relish or banana fritters or oricchiette with braised pork shoulder & pangrattato which you can have with a glass of wine or homemade lemonade, crisp and refreshing and finish with a cup of Bill’s hot chocolate made with callebaut.
I have been there with my family and with my girlfriends and it has always made me feel simply happy to be there, watching the world go by through the window and enjoy the simple life’ s pleasure-food-in good company or just on my own.
Beware though that the place is really busy through out the day and that they don’t take reservations, so sometimes you can wait about 50 minutes to get a table. However I do consider this place my personal bolthole, where I just like to be .)