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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

bills, Woollahra

Ricotta hotcakes $16.60
with fresh banana and honeycomb butter

There was only one gustatory must-do when Kelly--sometime foodblogger at The Occasional Epicure--visited Sydney. "Breakfast at bills" was pencilled into both our diaries months ago.

She and RJ brought the rain with them from Brisbane (it's still here!) but at least that meant the breakfast queue on Saturday morning was only 30-minutes in the waiter's notebook. We filled that easily with a meander through the pastry and biscuit displays of Buzzy Bakehouse, a wander past the local butcher (a fast-disappearing thing alas) and a stroll through Wholefoods House.

We were back in twenty minutes as instructed--"just in case", said the waiter--and were seated almost immediately. Our hot chocolates ($4.00) cause a small gasp from Kelly, admiring the polka-dot pattern of Callebaut chocolate buds down the sides of the glass. There was no time for photos, just desperate clutching of the hot milk between our cold palms. We reluctantly stirred, unleashing a chocolate tornado into the pristine whiteness that slowly, eventually dispersed and settled.

RJ is even more excited at the sight of his mocha coffee ($3.50).

This too arrives with a Callebaut curtain, and once stirred through the drink is a deep dark brown in colour. RJ takes a sip and sighs with satisfaction. "I think that's the best mocha I've ever had."

The ricotta hotcakes ($16.60)arrive not longer after. Three plump fluffy hotcakes, stacked up high, arrived on a deep white dish, each shaped in pleasing uneven splodges. The pat of honeycomb butter has slid from its original balcony, now resting at the bottom alongside three chunky spears of banana. We drown the lot in a generous flood of maple syrup.

The hotcakes are soft and spongey, little pockets of ricotta are welcome surprises. It's a huge breakfast really, but then I could always take on a challenge.

RJ is similarly pleased with bills' famous scrambled organic eggs with sourdough ($12.80) and gravlax salmon($5.70). The sourdough is thick but soft in the middle, the eggs are a pale golden yellow, cooked into a gentle ripple of folds like an edible quilt.

"It's the cream. That's the secret", Kelly points out.

RJ just nods and has another mouthful.

bills Woollahra
Queen's Court 118 Queen Street
Woollahra, Sydney

Monday to Friday 7.30am-5.00pm
Saturday and Sunday 8.00am-5.00pm
10% surcharge on weekends and public holidays

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

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/19/2007 11:59:00 pm


  • At 6/20/2007 2:53 am, Blogger Jen said…

    Helen, I totally agree, every interstate visitor should be treated to breakfast at Bills. I cannot get enough of their ricotta hotackes and the last time I went on a Saturday we magically breezed through without waiting. Surprisingly there was no line when we got there.

  • At 6/20/2007 6:24 am, Blogger Lightning Dave Bolton said…

    I've always found bills to be a little overrated. It's pretty good, but not nearly as good as everyone makes out, and definitely doesn't feel like a must visit for a tourist.

  • At 6/20/2007 7:15 pm, Blogger Vintage Wine said…

    Yummy :-)
    I love breakfasts!

  • At 6/21/2007 1:12 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi jenjen - Woollahra is pretty good with seating, but it was raining the day we went so all the outdoor seating was unusable :( Breakfast was good. I'm always an accommodating host :)

    Hi Dave - Thanks for your feedback. I think it's a fairly affordable treat for tourists and locals given its reputation. Considering much of the menu is organic, the prices are fairly reasonable, especially since a portion of eggs and toast would be beyond satiation for most people.

    Hi Vintage Wine - Me too! :)

  • At 6/22/2007 10:01 am, Blogger Serenity Later said…

    I wouldn't mind trying out one of bill's restaurants for brekkie/brunch when i next head up to sydney. is it advisable to book or can you just show up and wait for a table to free up?

  • At 6/22/2007 2:23 pm, Blogger Kelly said…

    Hi Helen

    Thanks for taking us to breakfast! Thanks also for generously describing me as a "sometime" blogger. I would have used the word "lapsed" myself :-)

    It was a fun and delicious morning, with a few bonus "only in Woollahra" moments - Sam the dog, minor celebrity spotting, and that girl who yelled at her boyfriend outside the organic shop about "the bottled water with the largest carbon footprint"!

    See you next time

  • At 6/22/2007 3:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I found a recipe online for the ricotta hotcakes and they are pretty much just like the ones in the cafe so I like to make them when I am not up for a trip across the bridge. That's actually one thing I do appreciate, that when he gives a recipe it actually turns out like the dish in his restaurant. I find some other "celeb chef" recipes *cough cough Kylie K :P* are nothing like the one in the restaurant.

  • At 6/23/2007 3:21 am, Blogger XUP said…

    O.M.G. I just spent a week in Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada and grumbled the whole time about how you could never find a decent breakfast outside of your own kitchen. Next conference I'm going to insist on Sydney so I can go to Bills.

  • At 6/26/2007 11:28 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Serenity Later - None of the bills restaurants take bookings, so you're advised to turn up as early as possible for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Fridays and weekends are always busier of course, so try to avoid unless you're happy to wait.

    Hi Kelly - It was great to catch up :) And hey, I'm always happy to indulge in a fooding adventure!

    Hi Lorraine E - I have one of his cookbooks but am yet to try the ricotta hotcake recipe. It is lovely when recipes turn out just like you hoped for :)

    Hi Urban Pedestrian - Apparently Sydney is one of the most popular destinations for conventions. Happy canvassing :)


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