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THE RESTAURANTEUR

Bill Granger

16th May 2012

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Since it opened at the end of last year, Granger & Co. has become one of Notting Hill’s most talked-about eateries. The hottest new hangout for locals, it’s been setting the whole area abuzz for months. So what is it about this restaurant that’s creating such excitement? That would have to be Bill Granger himself.

Granger is already a huge success in his native Australia. The Westbourne Grove site is his seventh restaurant, and his first in London – in fact, his first in Europe (he has three in Sydney and three in Japan). Known for his easy manner and laid-back approach to cooking, he is a truly likeable character, and that comes through in his food. There’s no fuss here, just an 'unpretentious neighbourhood restaurant' with great home cooking.

Granger & Co's cool blue and yellow exterior is instantly recognisable; transporting you to a place down under like Bondi or even Byron Bay, areas synomynous with Bill himself. Inside is a bright, light and airy space, offering casual all day dining. Classic Bill Granger dishes sit alongside vibrant, modern produce-driven food with a decidedly Australian feel. Breakfast is served from 7am daily (8am on Sundays); choose from bircher muesli, avocado on rye bread with coriander & lime or even boiled eggs with sourdough soldiers. For the heartier appetite, try the 'full Aussie breakfast' if you're game enough. For lunch, there's a selection of sandwiches, soups and salads along, or hot dishes including lamb meatballs and chicken schnitzel with a spicy coleslaw. The dinner menu has a focus on Asian-influenced dishes mixed with British classics; simple but strong flavours. Our favourite is the burger; it's so good, yet bizarrley tastes almost healthy. Without doubt, this is an example of where London’s restaurant scene is going; places like Granger & Co. fill the void with a focus on simple quality.

Though Bill may not be a born-and-bred local, he definitely did his homework before opening up in west London. He moved his entire family to Notting Hill in 2009 and spent two years getting to know the area first,

“I thought I had to live in the neighbourhood for a while to see what was needed, and what my own response was going to be. The great thing about living round here is that everything you could possibly need can easily be reached on foot. There’s a fantastic food culture, whether it’s the fine dining at The Ledbury or Hereford Road, or just the fresh produce at the local markets.”

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As if cooking and creating worldrenowned restaurants weren’t enough, Bill has one more trick up his sleeve: writing. Currently The Independent on Sunday’s food columnist, he also has ten cookbooks to his name, including Easy which was launched last month. So now there’s no reason why you can’t get your hands on some of Bill Granger’s cooking, whether it’s in your kitchen or his.