Friday, May 06, 2005

Bills, Darlinghurst

There are plenty of people who rate Bills, 433 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, Tel +61 2 9360 9631, as Sydney's best breakfast. Indeed, Bill Grainger is quite the Jamie Oliver. He has a string of cookbooks to his name (including one called "Sydney Food") and is now a fully-fledged celebrity chef (and media tart). But like Sydney, Bills is a bit of a two-trick pony. Spectacular harbour... sublime scrambled eggs. Fantastic beaches... fat and fluffy hotcakes. But then what?

In the case of my breakfast, disappointment, I'm afraid to say. The bacon was very average, the mushrooms were bland and boring, and the toast ought to have been served with safety goggles. Chipping bits off carried high risks. I almost took out an eye with a stray shard of organic spelt.

Don't get me wrong. The scrambles were light, creamy, and up there with the very best. And, although I didn't taste them, the ricotta hotcakes, served with fresh banana and honeycomb butter, looked truly rave-worthy. But you can't afford to have weak links, and Bills does.

Actually, judging by the steady stream of people waiting for tables (or waiting for a spot on the very large communal table), you can afford to have weak links. Maybe they come here to see and be seen? I spotted at least two celebrity imposters in just one sitting (one Paris-clone, one Moby-clone). Who knows who I'll be dining with next time?

15/20 "sublime scrambled"

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Blogger Jamie Wodetzki said...

Just adding a link to my Bills Reloaded review in which I got to sample the corn fritters, which were pretty good. I have now upgraded Bills to a 3 or 4 trick pony...

26/3/06 20:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nup, I went to Bills in Surrey Hills, and my partner and I emerged 50 bucks lighter after sampling some scrambled eggs (they're not mind-blowing, I mean, it's just cream for fucks sake...) with some OK toast, some OK mushrooms in a poncy and unnecessary bowl, nearly ripe avocado and a crap coffee. Doesn't anyone poach an egg in this town?

24/4/06 18:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got back from sydney, went to bills everyday for brunch, the corn fritters were good, so were the scrambled eggs, but the ricotta pancakes were divine!!! Fortunately the recipe is on his website so you can attempt this dish at home.
I like the place - its open and fresh, i like the communal table with all the latest magazines, i would definitely go again and again.

1/5/06 22:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Melbournite in Sydney went to bills of Darlinghurst on reccommendation. The coconut toast was simple and divine, the corn fritters were good...the bacon was nigh on raw, the spinach and tomatoes splendid, the hotcakes got a rave review as did the regular toast....the coffee and service were sub par, in fact the service was not even tip worthy on a 75 buck tab. bills of darlinghurst like a culinary yoyo.

11/1/07 17:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh thank God. Finally someone in the universe who isn't head over heels in lust with this place.

Did you know that they don't make any kind of eggs except scrambled?

As the waitress told me "Bill only makes them scrambled". And when I had them they were runny, flat and a little dense.

16/8/07 23:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamie you are so on the money. Everytime you go to Bills you are expecting to get something truly above average, and instead you get the opposite.

Yes the eggs are good. Yes the hotcakes are good. But there is always a burnt or cold coffee or toast or both. This latest time even the legendary ricotta hotcakes had their problems.

They were full of eggshell - so I picked out 4 pieces of it and lined them up nicely on the side of the plate to show the waitress. On top of that the honeycomb butter was going rancid.

The maitre'd very properly knocked the hotcakes off the bill. But the point of going to a place where $50 only just buys breakfast for 2 is that there won't be this kind of stuff up.

It's a con people - I'm not sure of your motivation for going - it's definitely not for the food.

25/4/08 08:16  
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