Madly successful with the Notting Hill set, this café-outpost of a media friendly Antiopodean chef packs ’em in at all hours; we enjoyed the food on our early-days visit, but how standards will withstand the pressures in the longer term it is difficult to say.
What makes a restaurant an ‘It’ restaurant? Whatever it is, this first European outpost of a media-friendly Antipodean chef has it in spades. The overwhelming fact about it is that it is just always busy. When we last passed by – too early on a Saturday for fashionable Notting Hill cruising – all the surrounding streets were deserted. But Granger’s corner café stood out like a sort of spiritual inversion of an Edward Hopper diner – those radiating contentment, many, were all within.
Whether this contentment is a particular comment on the food, it is impossible to say, and probably irrelevant too. What is clear is that this is a place combining mateyness with elegance in a way which is presumably supposed to waft us from west London to Sydney. The locals want a part of that dream.
The menu, an all-day affair, is in keeping with the relaxed style, and the highlight of our earlier lunchtime visit had been a very good fish curry, and we were impressed by the casual but efficient service too.
Since that visit, however, a new chef has joined (from Zuma, via the now-closed Galoupet). Can he, or any other chef, maintain the pressure which the press of custom here must be causing? That’s the real question here, and it is the sort of question to to which only time – with the help, perhaps, of our annual survey – can provide the answer.