Bill Granger is an Aussie chef who won us Londoners over several years ago, with his beach blonde hair, rich tan, glistening teeth and superb culinary skills. He was the guy who put sweet corn fritters and miso mushrooms on the map. Thank you Bill.
His flagship restaurant sits smartly on the beautiful Westborne Grove; awash with celebs, fashionistas and ridiculous wealth. If you’re hungry for Aussie food, you should expect to queue for a lunchtime table for no less than 45 minutes, come rain or shine. I visited on a weekend at 1pm, when the rain was hammering down, and there was still an orderly queue come 5pm. For lunch! Clearly Londoners don’t feel the rain anymore.
My first ever visit to Granger & Co was over a year ago, for breakfast. It was certainly a memorable one. Not only because Mr David Beckham was sat on my neighbouring table (Jesus, that man is aesthetically pleasing… ), but also the pure deliciousness of the menu. The imagination behind each plate and the sublime ingredients Bill combines to create unique flavours is wonderful. Ginger prawns with spiced salsa rossa… for breakfast?! Mad! But it works.
This time, my raw tuna steak came with avocado, samphire, coriander, brown rice, sesame seeds and a slice of lime. Every bite was the taste of summer. Perfect with my ‘biodynamic’ Viognier….. again – a bit mad, I usually like my wine treated with chemicals! But occasionally give the eco ones a try, and this particular one was very pleasant.
The ancho braised lentil and buffalo mozzarella tacos were wild looking – perfectly ‘Instagrammable’, thats now a word. Purple in colour topped with tomatoey lentils, guacca, crispy opions, crème fraiche and what seemed an entire coriander plant.
The boys hardly looked up from their parmesan crumbed chicken schnitzel and chilli and garlic pasta meatballs, two more fantastic dishes.
You simply cannot avoid pudding at Granger’s; he’s sneakily created a dessert menu of small bites which seamlessly bolt onto the end of the meal without being a full third course: peanut brittle, pistachio chocolate slices and yoghurt soaked chia seed pots topped with berries. Note very well: steer clear of the last chia option, it is really quite alarming, pretty sure it wasn’t food, but in fact frogspawn. Even the waiter looked green in the face. Luckily, the rest of the lunch more than made up for it.
As we were eating under an Aussie’s roof, it was only polite to order The ultimate dessert – a Pavlova (a stolen claim by the australians or traditionally Russian? We didn’t care). Bills Pavlova is made with white chocolate, pistachio, and rosewater yoghurt, rather than cream, and topped with juicy strawberries. So so delicious.
Bill Granger’s Westbourne Grove restaurant is not only the go-to place for great food, but also the top spot for people watching. Celebs here are more common than regular punters like me, but, even more entertaining than the celebs, are the housewives of Westbourne. They can be seen moving back and fourth to Granger and it’s surrounding cafes several times per day, dressed head to toe in garish gym gear, botoxed to the eyeballs – literally, whilst drinking something green, eating nothing of course, and permanently frowning. How the other half live… such fun?!