Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Restaurant Review: Bills, Darlinghurst

Bills is right at the top of my recommended list for foreign visitors to Australia. Heading out for breakfast at one of Sydney's top cafes is a must. So when I found myself in Darlinghurst and hungry with my friend's Paul and Sandy, it was the obvious choice.

My last post on Bills drew scorn from North of the Border, when I questioned whether Bills was still Sydney's best breakfast. Goodness only knows what will happen when this review falls firmly on the negative side.

First up our waitress was hopeless. Timid to the point that she didn't really want to speak to us. Sandy asked her what she would recommend from the menu and she couldn't volunteer a favourite dish. Surely working at Bills is a plumb restaurant job in Sydney? They should be able to do better than this.

Second came the disappointment with the drinks. I ordered a sunrise smoothie only to be told they'd run out. "Ok, I'll try the homemade ginger beer please." Ten minutes later and I get told they don't have any ginger beer either. Why did it take ten minutes to tell me that? I don't think a top restaurant should run out of things. However, if they do, expectation management is key. If we'd been told at the same time as we were handed the menus that two drinks were unavailable, it would have saved the disappointment of being let down, twice.

I decided to order the ricotta hotcakes. I wish I could report the food made up for the bad service, but... When friends have previously ordered the hotcakes they came with two slices of the honey comb butter. The wonderful honey comb butter brings an extra element of flavour and crunch to help the hotcakes come alive. So why did I only get one slice of goodness? I was short changed on the fresh banana too. The hotcakes were a bit one dimensional without without the honey comb and banana. Needless to say I was a bit disappointed at this stage!

Sandy had the miso fish, of which I had a quick taste, and did actually enjoy. Paul opted for the wagyu burger which I had last winter on a visit with my sister. The burger has a great bun (which I think FodderFanBoy needs to investigate) and interesting pickles accompanying it.

I was hoping to give my friends a wonderful Sydney cafe experience and sadly it didn't really work out that way. Does Bills come off my must do list? We are in last chance saloon I think. (Not that it will actually be worrying Bill!)

Bills on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh no Richie! No joy. But still, I can't taint the image wedding spot too much, not matter what you say.

  2. i haven't tried Bill's myself and there seems to be a love hate relationship with the place. their signature dishes are supposed to be the scrambled eggs, corn fritters and hotcakes but i've heard the service is pretty bad. i think it's a case of being too popular and too up themselves now to worry about their paying customers who seem to love lining up for ages to get a set. one day i'll try and hopefully they'll deliver on taste but if they fail on taste, service and value then i'll definitely be telling people about it :-)