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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

bills, Surry Hills

A spoonful of bill's molten chocolate pudding

After one has sampled breakfast at all three of Bill Granger's restaurants, the next logical step is to move onto dinner.

Actually this wasn't really the reason we headed to bills Surry Hills. A good friend, H, was back in Sydney for a flying visit from New York and she was keen to reacquaint herself with the buzzing restaurant scene... until we discovered the dearth of CBD restaurants open on a Sunday evening. Sure they need a day off, but *sigh* all of them? At once?

Good ol' bills is open on Sunday evenings, thank goodness, and the no-bookings policy meant we made sure we turned up early. At 6.35pm we had the second-last table. By 6.40pm the restaurant was full. Come 6.45pm we watched group after group turn up at the door and told there'd be at least a 30-minute wait.

Crispy skin spatchcock with a warm salad of chorizo,
roasted tomato, spinach, capsicum and olives $27.50

T had the spatchcock, a crisp-skinned affair that was moist and tender, resting on a tousle of baby spinach leaves, roasted tomato and char-grilled capsicum. Two slices of seared chorizo were moderately spicy, a handful of kalamata olives added a Mediterranean feel.

Kingfish fillet with green bean, grapefruit,
pistachio, mint salad and sumac yoghurt $23.50

I had the kingfish fillet, two pieces shallow-fried to a golden brown on one side and smothered in the simplest yet most delightful dressing of sumac yoghurt, mixed to a girly pastel pink. A jumble of rocket leaves, beans and toasted pistachio could have done with a little more of the promised mint. Two segments of ruby pink grapefruit added sweetness.

Linguini with prawns, chilli, rocket and lemon $23.00

H had the linguini with prawns and its mere arrival at the table had her swooning. Heady with the scent of freshly cooked prawns, the pasta was bursting with prawn flavours and generously slippery with chilli oil. Perfectly al dente pasta with prawns that were sweet and juicy. I almost wished I had ordered this dish. After a communal exchange of forkfuls, we all voted this the best dish of the night.

A party of four females means that dessert is always on the menu. Initially intrigued by the sound of the "apple and pistachio galette with caramel ice cream" we veto this after we spot the Danish-like pastry sitting on the pass. Instead we order one of everything else on the menu, conveniently covering 4/5 of the dessert menu in one fell swoop.

Pavlova with passionfruit $9.50

H headed straight for the pavlova. A good pav outside of Oz is hard to find.

Two small quenelles of meringue aren't quite the traditional presentation, but they have a semblance of that marshmallowy goodness on the inside. Generously dressed with a freshly cut Panama passionfruit, it soon disappears along with eager forkfuls of the accompanying freshly whipped cream.

Ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter $9.50

H has never Bill's famed ricotta hotcakes before and this one is a hit as well. The hotcakes are deliriously light and fluffy, little pockets of ricotta add an element of welcomed surprise. The disc of honeycomb butter melts slowly, and we combine forkfuls of hotcake with bits of fresh banana, all doused in thick golden maple syrup.

bills chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce and cream $12.50

We had watched a man next to our table leave half his chocolate pudding behind. We figure that four females could surely knock this one over, but even we leave about an eighth of this rich decadence behind. The molten pudding has a chewy baked crust, but the inside is sticky and rich, and we wonder if the pitcher of chocolate sauce is over-kill. The pitcher of cream, on the other hand, why that is another story...

panna cotta
Coconut panna cotta $9.50

The winning dessert of the night is the coconut panna cotta, one of dessert's trickiest beasts but potentially the most rewarding. The panna cotta is soft, silky, slippery and sensuously sexy. The spoon slips into the cooked cream with barely a whimper, it slides down the throat in a gentle cascade. If the female actress on Japanese Iron Chef were here, she'd definitely be giggling with one hand over her mouth.


bills Surry Hills
359 Crown Street, Surry Hills Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9360 4762

Open 7 days, 7.00am - 10.00pm
10% surcharge on weekends and public holidays

Related GrabYourFork posts:
bills Surry Hills (breakfast)
bills Darlinghurst
bills Woollahra (Jun 2007)
bills Woollahra (Jan 2007)
7 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 3/07/2007 10:35:00 pm


  • At 3/08/2007 7:29 am, Blogger Almost Vegetarian said…

    Everything looked wonderful, but, I must say, the item that caught my eye was the ricotta hot cakes. I have a tub of cottage cheese (in this case, it is the poor man's ricotta - although it does not substitute so nicely elsewhere) just sitting, unloved, in the fridge. I also have a Nigella Lawson recipe for these hot cakes. So I'm thinking breakfast tomorrow. Mmmm. Yes, indeed. Thanks!

  • At 3/08/2007 1:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    scramble eggs! their eggs are sensational. If I could choose between the eggs and the pancake, I will choose BOTH! yummm! get side of gravalax and cheddar with the eggs. Sensational.

    I like the darlinghurst shop better though... more sun light during the breakfast time.

  • At 3/08/2007 5:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OIISHIIII! hmm its been a while since ive been to bills altho my moolah has disappeared on clothes hehe

  • At 3/09/2007 6:31 pm, Blogger Kat said…

    My husband watches Iron Chef just for the Japanese actress. "Mmm...!"

  • At 3/09/2007 9:48 pm, Blogger MissK said…

    Aah,4 things I love,pavlova,passionfruit,coconut and panacotta.

  • At 3/10/2007 3:42 am, Blogger Linda said…

    how beautiful. these photos are fantastically colorful. id love to go to this place!

  • At 3/13/2007 12:48 pm, Blogger neil said…

    Augustus Gloop and left over chocolate pudding & chocolate sauce? Surely that can't be right.


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