The first time I visited Bill’s was just after they’d opened here in Norwich and back then I thought the food was really only ‘OK’. So, when Chris suggested we go there again last week I can’t really say I was looking forward to it much.
However, I was very pleasantly surprised as you’ll see as you read through the review. One point I must mention is the comparison that’s quite often drawn between Bill’s and Jamie’s Italian. They are similar ‘feeling’ restaurants and they are just round the corner from each other in Norwich, but that’s where the similarities end. In terms of the quality of the food, I think Bill’s are leagues ahead.
On walking into Bill’s, I was confronted with a really lively, friendly atmosphere. There seemed to be a nice buzz around the place and everyone was having a good time; always a good start.
The decor is great. Really quirky and interesting and there are things dotted around for you to buy too, such as teapots and jugs. Despite the fact Bill’s is a chain, it had an organic feel about it I really liked too.
The toilets were clean, but there were watermarks on the walls etc. showing a slight lack of attention to detail. 9/10
The waiter was friendly, polite and quick and he didn’t grumble when I asked for something that wasn’t on the menu. I don’t really have much to fault here. 10/10
The first items to arrive to the table were the drinks. I ordered an elderflower cordial which was very tasty and came with half a citrus grove in it too! It’s also available hot which didn’t appeal to me at the time, but I’m now intrigued and may have to try it this way on my next visit.
My main was a combination of two items from the menu. The standard burger is available ‘naked’, without a bun and chips but with a salad and tzatsiki instead. I ordered this but rather than the beef patty I opted for the filling from a halloumi and hummus burger. The waiter was perfectly fine with this and I was really happy with the dish. The only very slight criticisms I could make is that the halloumi was slightly dry and I much prefer a chunky, rustic tzatziki, but I am being really picky here. Overall, it was a lovely dish.
Chris opted for one of the specials, a rump steak sandwich. I was rather surprised when the waiter took the order as he didn’t ask how he wanted the steak to be cooked; a golden rule in restaurants, I thought? It arrived and the steak was medium-well, fine for Chris but overcooked for me. Having said that, I did taste some of the sandwich and thought it was delicious. Each of the fillings complimented the next and the steak was cooked really well. The chips were hot, crispy and not too oily, just as chips should be.
Bill’s lose a couple of points in this section; one for the halloumi and another for not asking how to cook the steak. 8/10
Value For Money
Starters at Bill’s are around £4-6 and main courses £8-12 with grills and specials being slightly more expensive. I guess this is pretty standard pricing, but for the quality of the food I think it’s very good value. 9/10
As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed my second visit to Bill’s and I hope to visit again sometime soon. With that in mind, I’m giving them a really well deserved 8.5/10