With the new seasons comes new menus, and it is my favourite time! The sun is out, the days are at their longest and restaurants showcase a lighter menu to enjoy with some fresh drinks. Bills Restaurant has always been a favourite of mine. I regularly pop in if I am early for meeting friends as I find their seating area so cosy and welcoming. It is perfect if you want a quick drink on your own or a few hours with a good book for some serious alone time. The new menu has some old classics, some with a twist, and some new offerings to keep you on your toes.
The floor to ceiling windows add lightness to the whole restaurant, whilst the outside terrace area is perfect to enjoy some cocktails in the midday sun. We usually choose to sit inside, especially when the sun is baking outside.
The Calamari has been given a summer twist with a red chilli and lime aioli. The squid rings are still soft and fresh with a crispy crumb, complimented by the zesty mayonnaise with a bit of a kick. I chose the Halloumi Sticks, I have a bit of a halloumi obsession at the moment. They are cooked enough for the cheese to lose the squeakiness but still firm. The lime aioli tasted the same as the one with the calamari but worked just as well with this dish.
For mains I chose the Ancient Grain Bowl with added chicken skewers. It is new and light, just what I was after on a red hot day in the city. Wild rice, millet, buckwheat, black quinoa is tossed with asparagus, broccoli, roasted cherry tomatoes, red pepper, avocado and spring onion. It sounds a lot but the balance of grain with veggies is a good one and it filled my tummy quickly. I didn’t really need to chicken skewers to be fair and they are pretty plain, but add a good meat option to the dish.
My friend chose the Fish Finger Sandwich which, had to be sent back initially as the fish wasn’t cooked properly. This was sorted quickly and, when fixed, the fish was lovely and flaky with lots of flavour. He would have preferred the bread not to be toasted and felt that ‘sandwich’ should imply bread rather than toast but I think that is all down to personal preference.
We shared a side of Mac and Cheese, I’m sure I don’t need to give you a reason why! The pasta was soft, the cheese gooey and the sauce thick enough to coat the whole thing. I stole several fries to dip and I may just order this with a portion of fries next time!
Finishing we went for the Triple Chocolate Brownie and the Cinnamon Doughnuts. The brownie is seriously rich and chocolate so, if you are after a light end to your meal, this isn’t it! The brownie itself is dense and gooey with a good glug of chocolate sauce and a side of creamy ice cream. It was beautiful and perfect for the chocoholics out there. The doughnuts were delightful. Lightly dusted with cinnamon sugar they come with both a salted caramel and a chocolate dipping sauce. Unlike the brownie, the chocolate sauce with the doughnuts is light and thin, perfect for coating them.
For summer the menu also has some new sharing platters, which are great for on the terrace with a bottle of fizz. Also, on your way out, make sure you pick up some of the tasty food and drink items available to take away. The pink lemonade is the perfect accompaniment to a gin for a summery alternative to tonic and the bon bons are so addictive. I had eaten my bag before we even got home! What more could you ask for this summer?
I was invited to dine as a guest of Bills and was not asked to pay.