The restaurant occupies the ground floor of one of the many shiny new buildings that have opened up in Pancras Square, between King's Cross and St Pancras stations. Various restaurants and cafés have been springing up there over the past few months, including Vinoteca and Notes, but Granger & Co is the latest. There are a handful of tables on the 'square' itself, and the rest are indoors, all arranged around a peach-tiled, brass-topped bar. It's not a particularly big space and although there were plenty of free tables at 6.30 on a warm, if not sunny, evening, the place soon filled up. Oh, and they don't take bookings, so it is worth arriving early.
The first task was to tackle the cocktail menu. The cocktails (most are £9.50) don't have names, but simply contain a spirit plus three or four fruit and vegetable ingredients. I was sorely tempted by a rose gin, cucumber, lemon verbena and celery concoction, but the Mexican-inspired tequila-avocado-agave combo won me over. The creamy smoothness of the avocado contrasted nicely with the sharpness of the tequila. If I closed my eyes, I might almost be back in DF. For my next move, I tried the rum, honeydew melon and green chilli cocktail, which was just as refreshing, and more piquant, if not quite as green.
The menu is divided into small plates and big plates, although the BBQ and Bowls & Grains sections also offer main-course-sized dishes. To start, my friend and I shared one of the small plates: the Korean fried chicken (£8.50), which came with a spicy sesame dip and some lettuce. The chicken was really good and the portion was quite generous — with a side dish, you could probably make it into your main course.
We both ordered burgers for our main course. My friend went for the shrimp burger with jalapeño mayo (£15), but as I'd been to Granger & Co several times and never tried the grass-fed beef burger (£14.50), I felt that the time had come. I was saddened to hear that medium was the minimum amount of cooking for the burger. I asked to have it 'as rare as legally possible' but it ended up being on the medium-well side. That said, the beef was really flavoursome and juicy. Not dripping with juices and grease, exactly, but moist, for sure. The burger was served with fries and club sauce — it also comes with 'impatient pickles' (lightly pickled gherkins), but I'm a purist and so gave them a miss.
We didn't really have room for a pudding, but half a pudding was another matter, and we shared the salted caramel and bitter chocolate pot (£7). Some days, it seems, you get peanut butter mousse instead of salted caramel, which would have been even better, but I still enjoyed the latter, which was served in a cute piccolo cup.
It wasn't an especially cheap meal — we paid about £45 each, including service — but the food was creative, well thought out and high quality, the drinks were top-notch, and the service excellent. It certainly beats the old days when, stuck waiting for a train back to Cambridge, the only food options in King's Cross were a Cornish Pasty Co and a Caffe Nero, that's for sure! Vive la régénération!
Granger & Co. Stanley Building ,7 Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG (Tube: King's Cross). Website. Twitter.