Today Grainger is restaurant owner (bills in Darlinghurst opened 1993 and bills2 opened in Surry Hills in 1996); best-selling cookbook author (bills food, sydney food and bills open kitchen); TV presenter (bills food on Australia's Lifestyle Channel and the UK's BBC2); and regular radio guest.
With so many things on his plate, not to mention three cherubic golden-haired children as well, we'll forgive him his erroneous habit of omitting apostrophes!
bills is disguised in an assuming Victorian terrace house, the neutral colour-schemed facade giving little indication of the embryonic mastery which occurs within.
We arrived at 7.30am on a Saturday, well aware of the notorious weekend breakfast queues. The gigantic communal wooden table was spotless bar the meticulously arranged magazines and newspapers.
It's sunny, warm and casual inside. A gigantic blackboard lists the menu on one wall and the kichen is vaguely visible behind the front counter.
We grabbed our own table though and hemmed and hawed over the delirious menu options before placing our orders. We'd heard that bills has a reputation for slow service and indeed it took twenty minutes for our drinks to arrive. Time enough to take pictures of the condiments and Murray River salt flakes anyway...
The coffee though, was worth the wait.
Two thumbs up!
Grinders coffee $3.50
We eschewed the healthy (read: ho hum) options of Bircher muesli, fruit plate and cereal in favour of Bill's signature dishes. We wanted the scrambled eggs, we wanted the corn fritters, we wanted the ricotta hotcakes... we wanted it all!
Wholewheat toast with free range scrambled eggs $11.80
Wholewheat toast with free range scrambled eggs and bacon $16.00
Sweet corn fritters with roast tomato, spinach and bacon $16.80
Ricotta hotcakes with fresh banana and honeycomb butter $16.00
What can we say but yuuuuuuuuuuuummm.
The scrambled eggs were indeed divine. Soft, delicate pillows of decadence; although it's little wonder they taste so good with 1/3 of a cup of cream used per two eggs, according to the recipe!
The bacon was also good. There's a big difference between good bacon and bad bacon. And bills' bacon brought it home. Crisp, tasty and full of flavour (not water and fat).
The toast was perfect too--thick chunks of homestyle bread.
Corn fritters were bursting with freshly shaved corn kernels, juicy and firm to the bite. There was plenty of corn and red capsicum, although there were some mouthfuls where the batter was still a little gluggy.
Ricotta hotcakes were the final hurrah: three fluffy ovals of airy goodness, interspersed with surprise pockets of pure ricotta. The honeycomb butter gave a sporadic pleasing crunch to mouthfuls of maple syrup-soaked hotcakes (although there wasn't nearly enough of the butter for our greedy liking!).
By 8.20pm we noticed there was a queue of about ten people spilling out along the footpath.
And having finally eaten the legendary scrambled eggs too, we now know why.
Next time we're leaving room for the homemade toasted coconut bread!
433 Liverpool Street Darlinghurst Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9360 9631
Mon - Fri 7.30-12.00
Mon - Sun 12.00-15.00
Mon - Sat 18.00-22.00
10% surcharge on weekends and public holidays
BYO corkage $3 per bottle
Related GrabYourFork posts:
bills Surry Hills (breakfast)
bills Surry Hills (dinner)
bills Woollahra (Jun 2007)
bills Woollahra (Jan 2007)
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3/05/2005 08:30:00 am