Bill’s opened their first Scottish restaurant earlier this year, much to be the delight of most Scots who have tried their restaurants down south. I visited one of their London restaurants for brunch a couple of years ago and was very impressed, so I was keen to try out other elements of the menu!
The mezze was ordered between two people, but it could easily provide a good snack starter for 3-4 people – we all dipped in! The mezze contained houmous, Baba Ghanoush and an assortment of tortilla chips and grilled piadina bread which had been toasted and flavoured for dipping/wrapping/scooping. In addition to the dip-fest, there was as a selection of meats and olives. Everything on the platter was absolutely delicious. I almost ordered the Lamb Koftas as a main course but was swayed – when I tasted a sample from the mezze I was gutted I didn’t stick with them! Next time!
My friend loves a sausage roll, so she was unable to hold herself back from this. We all love chorizo, so we were eager to taste this. The pastry was lovely and flaky and held the generous chorizo flavoured sausage meat. It was lovely and smoky and the texture wasn’t chewy as it wasn’t solid chorizo, so it was comfortable and tasty to eat! The almost stodginess of the the sausage roll was beautifully relaxed by the piccalilli, watercress and radish salad.
Heirloom Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
I love a bruschetta! This version comprised of toasted campagne bread topped with basil & garlic multi-coloured heirloom tomatoes, avocado, baby mozzarella and balsamic dressing. I would have preferred more cheese on it, but that aside it was a deliciously fresh and visually appealing dish.
My friend said that this is the best burger she’s ever eaten. I’m a spoiled brat for burgers now – they either have to be fancy gourmet burgers like Burger Meats Bun or really sleazy ones like Five Guys, so for me it was just a good restaurant burger! It was tasty though. I was pleasantly surprised that Bill’s offer the burgers to be cooked medium if you’d like. This burger had amazing toppings – lots of salad, burgers sauce and cheese. The presentation was lovely, but really, with a burger I need to have a wrapper so I can make my “burger nappy” to hold it together! This burger was defeated with knives and forks!
My order was the fish pie and I was really disappointed with it. The reason was so simple: there wasn’t enough sauce in the fish base. The fish involved (cod, salmon, queen scallops and tiger prawns) were all cooked beautifully and were covered with lovely cheddar and mustard mashed potato. The fish and potato alone was just too dry and a little bit bland – a nice creamy sauce would have made this amazing. The sauce was meant to be there, as there were peas and onions through the mixture and I could see that a sauce had been there for the fish to be cooked in, it’s just a pity it wasn’t in the dish.
My friend ordered this macaroni and in reality, it should have been right up my street as the cheddar was smoked for the sauce and it was coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs. I love leeks, smoked cheese, macaroni cheese and asparagus. My friend felt that it was the breadcrumbs that caused the problem, but I think it was the cheese. The cheese tasted smoky, but rather than enhancing the flavours of the dish it overpowered it and it tasted like plastic. As a result, despite the sauce and pasta being a perfect texture, the flavour ruined the dish – which was a huge shame!
This burger had less of the “WOW” factor that the other burger, but it was cooked to order and tasted lovely. The beef patties they use here are really nice and alongside the simple combination of a sesame seed bun with red onion, tomato, lettuce and horseradish mayonnaise. A nice, simple burger!
This was so sweet and tangy and delicious! They use their own lemon curd to flavour the cheesecake and top it with foamy caramelised meringue. Delicious!
This was rich and gooey with lovely cold ice cream.
This was the clear winner! The delicate brioche slice was toasted golden, topped with marshmallow fluff, Nutella and freshly chopped strawberries. It was amazing! The fresh strawberries made it so tangy, the Nutella added richness and the marshmallow fluff made it sticky and sweet. I’d definitely order it again!
I love that in Bill’s, they serve REAL pots of tea. None of this 2.5 cup efforts! I didn’t even manage t o drink all of it. That’s the way it should be with tea in my opinion!
This was really sweet and delicious – and cutely served with strawberries!
This is a very mixed review, but that’s the nature of trying new dishes. I still really like Bill’s for many reasons – their starters and desserts are amazing but the mains did let them down. The restaurant has a lovely ambiance to it, the staff are absolutely delightful and every part of our experience was a positive. Both dishes that I didn’t like were for taste/texture reasons, so the chefs only have to tweak them for improvement. I’ll definitely be back to Bill’s.
22 – 24 West Nile Street