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When my parents were visiting we stumbled into a lovely restaurant in Notting Hill called Granger & Co.

It was a bright and gorgeous space, with huge windows, light wood, shining wine glasses and smiling, chatty staff.

I had a cappuccino:

and a semolina-crusted calamari salad, with baby spinach and fennel, and a lime and harissa mayo (£10.90):

They were cooked perfectly and were tender with just the right amount of crispiness in the semolina coating. The dip they served with it was sour and spicy – a bit too sour for my mood at the time, but it complemented the calamari really well and I can easily see someone else loving it.

My parents each had ricotta hotcakes (£10.80), topped with banana and caramel butter, served with maple syrup (as far as I recall). One of the best things I’ve eaten in a long while (I had to try some of theirs, obviously). The butter melted over them, caramel and all, and the ricotta added a great texture to balance out the bananas and butter. A delicious heart attack on a plate..er…bowl.

Great food and a great vibe. It was a bit on the pricier side (it is, after all, Notting Hill), but well worth a visit.

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This place had been highly recommended to me, and I finally got a chance to check it out.

What can I say? This is probably the best Asian food I’ve had in Cambridge, and by that I mean that the dishes were traditional and tasted mostly like they were supposed to. How good they were was a bit of a hit and miss.

We started off with some steamed buns with pork, egg, or beef in them. The bun was overdone, the texture a bit too (stale) bready and the egg oversteamed but still delicious. The pork tasted the way it should, but the texture was completely off. I have no idea what they did to that poor piece of meat:

The dumplings (veggie & egg), on the other hand, were perfect. Perfect texture and absolutely delicious.

Here’s the inside:

Then we had some glutinous rice balls with red bean:

They were quite good, but the soup wasn’t quite sweet enough and I think it could have used a bit more red bean:

We were still hungry when we finished, so we ordered some noodles with egg and tomato.

This tasted quite different from all of the other iterations I’ve ever had, but I actually really liked it. The tomato tasted a bit like pasta sauce, which works for me since I don’t really like heated tomatoes. Not authentic (but then again, how authentic can egg and tomato be?!), but yummy.

The whole lunch came to £16.00, and in retrospect was probably more that three people had any business trying to finish (no regrets). All in all, I probably will come back here for my fix of Chinese goodness, but it’s no Hong Kong. Or Toronto. Or London.

Speaking of London, I had some dim sum there earlier in the year. It was ridiculously priced at £16.00 per PERSON (!!!!), but the food was absolutely fantastic, and a quick dip into a bakery afterwards for a sesame ball (I don’t remember how much this was, but certainly less than £1) was just as satisfying.