Friday, 13 January 2012
Is It Me? Or Is Granger & Co Bloody Expensive?
After a stressful, and ultimately unsuccessful, Christmas shopping trip to High Street Kensington, I hopped on a bus to nearby Notting Hill for a late lunch at Granger & Co. This casual all-day eatery is the brainchild of Aussie chef, Bill Granger, who has an awesome (forgive my slip into Antipodean vernacular) reputation. Not only has he opened popular restaurants in his homeland and Japan, but he's also published acclaimed cookbooks, and appeared on the telly.
I had heard good things about the sweetcorn fritters (£11.90), and I promptly ordered this dish along with a side portion of avocado salsa (£2.40). Now I know I was in posh Notting Hill, but I thought that spending nearly £15 would get me more than two sweetcorn fritters, two small roast tomatoes, a single rasher of bacon, a few spinach leaves and a few chunks of avocado. Given the price and portion size, the food really had to sing. It didn't. Whilst the overall combination worked, the fritters were a tad underseasoned and a bit burnt at the edges. On the plus side, the roast tomatoes were packed full of flavour.
I was still starving so I ordered some lemon cake (£4), which was, in fairness, bloody delicious. So much so, I temporarily forgot that I was a victim of daylight robbery. In total, I spent £23.40 (including 12.5% service) on two courses and a coffee. If I'd ordered a beer or a glass of wine then the price would’ve easily crept up to around the £30 mark.
Launceston Place (in nearby Kensington) that does a three-course set lunch for £23. Come to think of it, the set lunch at The Ledbury, Notting Hill's finest, is only £30.
And at risk of banging on about how much of a rip-off this place is, the menu is studded with overpriced dishes. Piss-taker in chief has to be the Full Aussie breakfast (£13.25), which costs more than the Full English (£12) at Hawksmoor. And based on my experiences at these two places, I'd much rather go to Hawksmoor. In my opinion, if you want to check out Aussie-style casual dining then you'd be much better off going to somewhere like Lantana, where the sweetcorn fritters cost less than a tenner, and prices are generally 20-25% cheaper than Granger & Co.
I know I've had a bit of a rant about this joint (and I've not even mentioned the bipolar inattentive/enthusiastic service 'til now) but I doubt very much if Bill Granger gives a toss. After all, Granger & Co was pretty busy at 3pm on a Tuesday. However, just because there are some people willing to pay an arm and leg to eat there doesn't mean I have to.
Granger & Co, 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2SB (Tel: 020-7229-9111)
Nearest stations: Bayswater, Notting Hill Gate, Westbourne Park