If you live in London, love food, or brunch, then you will have heard of Granger & Co. Owned by Aussie chef Bill Granger, the restaurant located in quaint Notting Hill is quite literally famous on the breakfast scene for its scrambled eggs and ricotta hotcakes. Despite living east, I decided I’d had enough of sitting spectator to conversations between the ‘inner circle’ of those who had been and made the joyous underground journey all the way across town so that I could finally join the club.
As well as its eggs & pancakes, Granger & Co. is famous for its queue. The long, long queue.
I must admit that I don’t think breakfast is a meal worth queueing for, hence why I’d put off going for so long, but a blue sky and a hot first date with blogger friend Kam (whose blog post you can read here) made the wait much more bearable.
^ Ain’t she a beaut?
Service: The service was not impressive. The man in charge of policing the queue was polite enough but had a bizarre seating strategy that left Kam and I a little puzzled. Our waitress was impersonal & cold. Not a moment after we’d sat down and been given the menus were we asked what we would like to order. I feared that this would be the case and although I appreciate that people were waiting, this was just not good enough for me. I also requested to switch the chipolatas and bacon in my ‘Full Aussie’ for smoked salmon, to which not only was she rather aggressive in her response but she told me that the kitchen had run out – what kind of a famous (/entirely run of the mill) brunch place doesn’t have smoked salmon??? Mind-boggling stuff.
Ambience: As a big fan of natural light, I really loved the space of Granger & Co. with its wrap-around large windows and high ceiling, however, I did not at all like the decor. Others have described the lime green seats and white painted tables as chic & summery, but I thought they looked naf & dated, with the tables dirty and cheap-looking.
One thing Granger & Co. does have going for it though is the crowds, which bring great liveliness and atmosphere into the room.
Food: Kam and I had actually missed the breakfast slot (purposefully) in the hope of beating the queue (no such luck), as both of the items that we wanted, and which Bill Granger is famous for, are featured on the ‘Lunch Menu’.
But since we were celebrating both finally eating at Granger & Co. and (more importantly) meeting one another, the food could not be deliberated until we’d toasted with a round of white peach Bellini’s (£9.50 each).
As more of a savoury breakfast gal I made a beeline for the Full Aussie breakfast (£13.80), whilst Kam ordered the ricotta hotcakes with banana & honeycomb butter (£11.80).
My ‘Full Aussie’ was essentially a traditional fry-up with a few twists, including the *famous* scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, roast tomato, miso chestnut mushrooms, bacon and chipolatas (although I switched the little sausage fingers for avocado).
The tastiest thing on the plate was the miso mushrooms. My God were they good – cooked to perfection with the most moreish marinade – I could have eaten a plate of these alone. The thin, lean rasher of smoked bacon; roast tomato; and ripe, flavourful avocado were exactly as stated on the tin. No triumphs there. So I’m sure you can imagine my heartbreak when I tucked into the *famous* eggs to discover that they were both dry & bland.
Although I will readily admit that they look much prettier than mine, they sure as Sherlock don’t taste it! I’ve seen these eggs described as “creamy”, “silky smooth”, and “fluffy pillows from heaven” – all I can say is that I hope for everyone’s sake Granger & Co. had an off moment as my eggs were overdone & underwhelming. I’ll take my butter-y rich, wet eggs any day of the week. Thankfully Tabasco was on hand to inject some life into them.
Kam’s ricotta hotcakes went down much better. Despite looking nice & thick, they tasted unbelievably light & fluffy. The little pockets of ricotta provided some density and would burst delivering sweet & creamy mouthfuls. The large, perfectly ripe banana gave both texture and natural sweetness, whilst the honeycomb butter soaked & enveloped everything in runny caramel-y flavour that was notably different to maple syrup.
Fine, I’ll say it, I had food envy.
Had it not been my first meal of the day I would have followed up with a sweet treat, but I can’t quite do brownie for breakfast, which is a shame as I must say that the freshly baked cakes, cookies and muffins all looked rather appetizing.
Instead, Kam had a latte (£2.80) and we continued gossiping until the bill arrived.
Price: The total bill came to £53.35 with service for 2 Bellini’s, 2 breakfasts and 1 coffee. Had I not had to wait, encountered better staff, and enjoyed my meal more, I would have been more than happy to pay this price. However, the place and the eggs fell very short of the hype and are most certainly not worth me spending 40 minutes to travel for. On the bright side, at least I’m now a member of the club!