A third branch of Australian Bill Granger's relaxed and sunny all-day eatery, in King's Cross.
Mea culpa. Magazines and newspapers are filled with the latest popups, trendiest Korean or Peruvian dishes, even what kind of booze you should be drinking. Time Out directs readers to ever more obscure dishes and speakeasies in Dalston. Yet the appetite for crazy food and drink trends doesn’t seem to abate; even great chefs struggle to keep up.
The Aussie-born Bill Granger made his name in Sydney two decades ago, at the trend-setting bills café, with simple but satisfying brunch dishes and great coffee. A branch in Tokyo still draws queues of patient Japanese fashionistas every weekend (I stood in line for more than an hour a few months ago).
But these branches now seem oddly dated with their homely brunch-forward menus – how 1990s! – when compared to what Granger is doing in London, his home since 2011.
This King’s Cross restaurant, the newest of three branches, overlooks King’s Boulevard, the walkway that leads from King’s Cross north to the Regent’s Canal and Granary Square. Tables outside on a quiet piazza catch the sun from 7am until 4pm. On a warm evening it’s surely London’s best new spot for alfresco dining.
Granger’s new operation touches every trend going: small plates, grains, barbecue, Korean – some of these in the same dish. Fancy a poke? You’ll get filled up by Granger’s version of this Hawaiian raw fish salad (rhymes with ‘okay’). Chunks of raw tuna are mixed up with avocado, cherry tomatoes, green samphire stalks, shimeji mushrooms, and a sprinkling of crunchy toasted buckwheat. The multicultural mix of textures and flavours worked really well.
With such a mash-up, not every dish hit the bullseye. A dumpling dish couldn’t make up its mind which continent it was cruising towards, with wonton-like steamed wrappers enveloping kimchee, ricotta and spinach (imagine it). But Granger was back on terra firma with a Thai-style yellow fish curry, rich with coconut milk and tangy with sour-sweet flavours.
Granger will forever by known as the man who gives good brunch, but consider him for dinner too. He’s brought Aussie-style sunshine to King’s Cross. His dishes are earnest and well-considered, which is a great achievement when spanning more continents and food trends than most of us will explore in a lifetime.
|Venue name:||Granger & Co|
Seven Pancras Square
|Transport:||King's Cross and St Pancras tube and rail.|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £80.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.1 / 5
- 5 star:6
- 4 star:9
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
Very good food (corn fritters are heaven!) and helpful staff. Always very busy though so get there early!
You know somewhere must do a good brunch when there is constantly a long queue outside. You are able to book midweek, but on the weekends Granger & Co operate a walk-ins only policy. This weekend I finally I decided to suck it up, join the inevitable queue, and test out the Kings Cross Granger and Co.
We arrived at 12:15, so missed the full breakfast menu which only runs until 12 o'clock. Luckily, they still do their most popular dishes all day so we were still able to get what we wanted (but worth bearing in mind if you were after something a little lighter/more breakfast like bircher or porridge)
After much deliberation (and I actually asked the waitress for her recommendation) I decided to go for the sweetcorn fritters. I was not disappointed. If sweetcorn fritters had an official ranking table, these would hands down get 10/10. They were crispy on the outside, but light and fluffy on the inside, and seasoned perfectly to make something that could be bland absolutely delicious. I think I detected peppers and spring onions in the mix, but whatever it was worked perfectly. They came with two roasted tomatoes, some spinach and a generous couple of rashes of thickly cut Wiltshire back bacon. I was worried I may still be hungry, but the portion was generous and due to the flavours being so delicious I was more than satisfied. Purely because I am a brunch fiend, I think a side of avocado or a poached egg on top would have made this dish absolutely perfect, but it really was perfectly fine as it was. I could of course have added these as extras, but at nearly £14 for the dish, the menu is fairly pricey (in terms of brunch) as it is so I decided not to.
Drinks wise I had an almond milk latte which was spot on. The almond milk is house pressed, so again, although perhaps on the pricier side you are paying for top quality. My companion had a standard flat white and commented on how good his coffee was.
The restaurant itself was bright and airy with an attractive sit-up bar where you can also choose to sit if there are no tables available. It was full, but we didn't feel hemmed in or like we were sat on top of one another. Service was quick and friendly and the food came extremely quickly. The food and coffees actually came at the same time (which never happens!)
I will definitely be back, next time to try the infamous Ricotta Hot Cakes which I couldn't manage but enviously eyed up on other tables!
Very disappointed in the customer service and lack of nutritional advice. I had a severe allergic reaction and was told it was my own fault. Yet when an almond milk cappuccino is listed as 'almond milk cappuccino, how is a customer to know that the milk is actually home made by grinding down macadamia nuts and almonds. There was no notification of this fact and the menu failed to highlight potential allergens.
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