AS BILLS SHAKES UP SUMMER WITH THEIR SEASONAL MENU
There’s no more cheery or summery sight than the exterior of Bills! The montage of flowers, grasses, potted trees and plants and an extended alfresco dining area spell out summer loud and clear.
The outside of this Georgian townhouse, built in 1794 and once home to William Hey, chief surgeon and one of the founders of the General Infirmary, proudly displays a blue plaque and both the exterior and interior have been skilfully renovated to retain all the Georgian charm.
Bills was one of the first boutique restaurants in the city and is one of the few that has survived and still is a favourite amongst discerning food lovers in the city.
Perhaps the reason for its longevity is not only its good food, efficient and friendly staff and reasonable prices but the ability it has to change its mantle for any occasion.
In the mornings its bright and cheery, lunchtime there’s a more relaxed atmosphere whilst in the evening it takes on a candle lit ambience. From business breakfasts or lunches, family meals and celebrations to the ultimate stylish venue for ladies who lunch, gentile afternoon tea lovers, gossipy girlie nights out or those romantic meals – Bills can be anything you want it to be and that’s the main secret of its success.
During lockdown Bills has been refurbished – but thankfully nothing too drastic just a nip and a tuck here and there, so non of its charm has been lost.
We decided to sit inside for our meal and chose one of their summer themed Shaking Up The Summer retro cocktails. My partner chose Twistin’ The Night Away with Beefeater Blood Orange Gin & Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic. He described it as a “hell of a wake up” with its citrus tang and so refreshing with the blood orange gin cutting through giving it a strong alcoholic taste.
Shake It Up Baby was my choice with Malfy Con Limone Gin, Cointreau, Cranberry Juice and Lime. I was wooed with the lovely baby pink colour but unfortunately not by the taste as it was too sweet a drink for me – but ideally for a summer cocktail it was refreshing.
Starters for me were the Halloumi Fries with lime aioli. They were hot and very crispy on the outside just as they should be but decorated with an overdose of chilli, which I dislike, but as a decoration I must admit it made the dish look colourful.
The Devilled Chicken Skewers with spicy barbecue glaze, spring onion, lime and tzatziki were my partners choice. They were lightly spiced and very flavoursome and the twist of lime on the side made a great addition.
Main courses at Bills always offer a great choice and new dishes have been added and sadly some old favourites have disappeared – but that’s progress.
The 8 ounce Sirloin Steak my partner chose was cooked as requested, tender and very succulent. The accompanying fries were hot, fluffy and crispy but the Peppercorn Sauce was a little too bland and tasteless.
My Pan Fried Sea Bass was cooked to perfection. The fish was moist and the skin was crispy and came with a delicious herb rosti that unlike most rosti had a great taste and flavour.
When it came to desserts there was only one choice for me Bill’s Flowerpot. This has to be seen to be believed and should be a must eat requirement for every customer.
The sweet itself is a work of art – red berry cheesecake in a chocolate flowerpot with chocolate soil, strawberries and an edible flower. More than just heaven on a plate – the ultimate heaven on a plate!
Whilst I feasted on this out of this world dessert my partner enjoyed some coconut ice-cream with a sumptuous taste.
Whether its snowing outside, pouring with rain or a hot balmy summer night Bills just always seems the right eating place to be whatever the season or the weather.
Bills,1 Albion Place, Leeds
Open: Mon-Tues 8.00am-9.00pm; Wed,Thurs,Fri 8.00am-10.00pm; Sat 8.30am-10.00pm; Sun 9.00am-10.00pm
The Shake Up Summer menu of cocktails plus a menu of four mains at a special price runs until 30th June.