Bill’s Restaurant is a fairly new eatery on my foodie radar. I’ve seen it creeping up more and more commonly over on Twitter recently and curiosity got me gandering at the menu and having a little drool over all the goodness on offer. I popped along to Bill’s in Manchester for a little review this weekend and even now, more than 24 hours since I ate my weight in bacon mac and cheese, my belly is more than satisfied. Me, Victoria and our pal Alex took a break from our shopping (it was actually Victoria’s very first trip to Manchester, EVER!) and strolled down to the quaint little restaurant down ‘the bottom’ of town (that’s how I refer to the area where Bill’s is in Manchester, but it’s kinda near to where they have the Christmas markets on the way to Spinningfields and the like). We were due to have a few drinks later in the day, so used the opportunity to get some carb loading done and have a sneaky little tipple to prepare us for the evening ahead. So to wet our whistles I had an Amaretto Sours, which was a lovely sweeter version of a classic Amaretto Sours, made with pink lemonade for a softer taste and Victoria had their Hedgerow Fizz cocktail which was a delicious mix of Elderflower cordial and prosecco with a frozen blackberry thrown in for good measure!
The cocktails were perfect to sip on whilst waiting in the lovely, rustic feeling dining area awaiting our main courses. We decided to skip the starters as we needed to save room for desserts after hearing such good things about them! The waiting on staff were super friendly and knew the menu inside out – offering us recommendations and advice to suit our individual tastes (and also guiding Alex with the best choices to nurse her hangover from the night before). I absolutely loved the attention to detail in the restaurant, with the lovely chandeliers and seating area. I also noticed that on the outside dining area they even provided fleecy blankets for customers so they don’t get too chilly! There was so much to choose from on the menu, and I was so tempted to go for one of their delicious sounding steaks, but instead went for half a peri peri chicken, as I was attempting to be a little bit healthy (snort). The healthy intentions soon ended when I spotted mac and cheese as a side dish further down the menu, so I ordered that as well and even went the whole hog by adding bacon too! Whoops. I did try a bit of everything, apart from Victoria’s burger, so I guess the best way to tell you about them is by listing the items individually and reminiscing about their tastiness….
Spiced tortilla chips with tzatziki, guacamole and salsa: One of Alex’s choices, these were massive triangles of slightly spiced tortilla chips served warm alongside tangy salsa with fresh guacamole and creamy tzatziki. These were a lovely, light way to start you on the right track for a big main course, but Alex had them as a main with the other two starters she chose. It was great that Bill’s accommodated her slightly odd request to have a selection of starters for her main and were really nice about it instead of looking at her like a weirdo (which has happened to me before when eating out).
Crispy crumbed halloumi: Alex and Victoria both ordered these sticks of JOY and they were so moreish and amazing I wish I’d ordered my own too! There was actually no need though, as each serving had 5 generous helpings. Served with a chilli mayo chip, perfect for dipping, it was a wonderful contrast in flavours and I would definitely order these again!
Butternut squash mac ‘n’ cheese: Alex and I both ordered this as a ‘side’ dish and couldn’t believe how generous the portion size actually was. You can order it either as a side or as a main, and I am left wondering how large the serving would be if chosen as a main! It was more than enough for one side plate order between us, and the recipe was so creamy and delicious. With the option to add bacon, this added a nice bit of variety with every fork full. I’ve been craving this ever since I got home because it was so yummy without being overly stodgy. The cheese to pasta to bacon ratio was spot on.
Bill’s Burger: Served with skinny fries, this meaty looking tower of burger goodness certainly look impressive! But as I mentioned, I didn’t actually have a try of it as it was Victoria’s main dish. But keep a look out on her blog for the full run down of how tasty it was! You can request it with a variety of additional toppings like bacon and guacamole, and also order your burger itself to be cooked to your liking.
Bill’s ‘peri peri’ marinated half chicken: It’s no secret that I absolutely loathe Nando’s, I find their chicken to be such a strange texture which makes it seem cheap and weird, so to order peri peri chicken in a restaurant which is succulent and juicy and delicious pleases me so much! Bill’s peri peri chicken is a yummy, zesty combination of spices which really come through with each bite. Served with crispy sweet potato fries and winter slaw, the whole meal was so moreish. I was full around half way through my main, but just had to keep eating because it seemed like too much of a shame to let such good chicken go to waste!! The winter slaw was a standard mix of cabbage and the like, with a slightly bitter taste, which complimented the citrus of the chicken’s seasoning really well.
Warm chocolate brownie: Every person that has ever mentioned Bill’s to me has raved about their chocolate brownies. Not being a massive chocolate dessert fan, and being completely stuffed already, we decided to share the desserts between all three of us. I only managed one spoonful of the brownies as they were so rich and chocolately! Victoria loved them but they were slightly too much for me personally. They were warm, gooey and rich though, which is I heard are all the elements to make a brownie a BROWNIE. Served with a scoop of creamy milk ice cream and a chocolate flake, you’d be a fool if you love chocolate and didn’t order this.
Warm mini cinnamon doughnuts: When I saw that these were ‘mini’ doughnuts, I expected them to be the size of like, a 50 pence piece?? But no, no they were not! A good palm sized selection of 4 or 5 cinnamon dusted delicious doughnuts is what you get, with a little bowl of chocolate sauce for dipping. I can honestly say I have NEVER had doughnuts so fluffy, light, delicious and yummmmm. They were like little pillows of cinnamon dreams and the chocolate sauce made for the perfect combination of flavours and textures to finish such an amazing meal.
Overall, not only did Bill’s Restaurant in Manchester have a menu packed full to the brim of amazing taste sensations and delectable desserts and cocktails, but it also offered the ideal setting for a nice relaxed meal. It’s rare that I can go in to a restaurant and feel completely relaxed with my surroundings, but the staff were so welcoming and the layout was ideal for a casual dining experience with either friends or for a sneaky date. Have a little drool over Bill’s menu online here.