Summer is here and so are the offers. The Highcross in Leicester are giving away a multitude of discounts and free samples to celebrate the arrival of summer using the hashtag ‘#summersavour’. With the PLUS app, you can enjoy these offers between 1-22nd of August 2019 – one key player featuring in the offers is Bill’s restaurant. We went to check it out.
If we’re talking restaurants that are full on a regular basis every time we walk past, Bill’s is easily one of them. It is a bit of a mystery as to why especially given the polished names and reputations of the nearby competition. Cafe Rouge, Carluccio’s and the like regularly sit half to three quarters empty, so what are Bill’s doing differently?
The vibe was chilled from the moment we walked in. A relaxed setting with friendly staff is always likely to tug you by the arm and persuade you to stay. The restaurant slowly began to fill on a Tuesday night with couples and families out to enjoy the warm summer evening.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on the style of cuisine while going through the menu. Greek, Cuban, Thai – there are a lot of varied dishes from all over the world. Many of which are crowd pleasers with a good range of healthy choices plus vegetarian and vegan options.
Price-wise the starters sit comfortably in the £5-7 bracket with the mains coming in at £10-15. Steaks will set you back a maximum of £19.95 for a ribeye served with pea shoots and fries. Dessert prices mirror the starters with a tempting selection of sweet treats. Each night there are also selected single-dish specials.
As the weather was beautiful, we began our meal with a couple of gin and tonics. We love to try different gins and Bill’s really have a good selection to choose from. Narrowing it down to a raspberry gin and a Seville orange gin, both served with classic tonic water, we were off to a great start.
Our starters arrived soon after the drinks, each of which looking fresh and inviting. A classic Prawn Cocktail is something that you don’t see on a lot of menus these days – and that’s a shame. This cocktail was stacked with fresh salad and topped with prawns all wrapped up in a delicious Marie-Rose sauce, retro but in a good way.
Devilled Chicken Skewers did sound like a fearful night in the bathroom awaited the unfortunate recipient. Fortunately, these wings had a tingle of spice as opposed to the wrath of Satan – certainly nothing compared to the ‘Judas is Scary Hot’ from The Rib Man.
The chicken was juicy with the sweet, tingly glaze matching the charcoal treatment perfectly. A sauce of Greek Tzatziki cooled down any potential flames on the side. A simple starter, much like the prawn cocktail, but a very enjoyable one.
With our diet in mind, we tried to be savvy with our main course order. Steak and Eggs is the kind of food a boxer would consume during a training camp, so I went for that. The steak was requested medium and arrived looking quite thin but still juicy. Topped with a couple of fried eggs, fries and the ever-present pea shoots. Garlic butter on the steak was a lovely addition.
Across the table, Ali was getting stuck into her Mojo Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki, Wild Rice and Flatbreads. The flavours of anything with Mojo sauce are just brilliant. Anyone who has seen the movie ‘Chef’ can’t help but get addicted to this garlicky, citrusy sauce. Bill’s have this combination spot on.
Dessert is meant to be an indulgence. This dessert was the very definition of that. A Bill’s favourite, The Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline Sphere. A large ball of tempered chocolate encasing salted caramel ice cream with a chocolate and hazelnut mousse. It tasted every bit as good as it reads.
Rich and indulgent. Enough to make you forget all about the diet for the small window of time that it takes you to demolish the pud. Heaven in a bowl and worth the trip to Bill’s alone. Maybe we had finally discovered why this place is so popular.
Part of the August offer at Bill’s is a free sample of our other dessert – Warm Strawberry Dusted Doughnuts. In contrast to The Sphere, these Doughnuts were simply presented with strawberries and melted white chocolate for dipping – a delicious combination.
As day turned to night, we left Bill’s full and satisfied. Was it the perfect experience? I think from a casual standpoint this place is ideal for relaxing while eating a well-priced menu. If I had to pick out a criticism it would be that the staff hand the plates over to you, in some cases, instead of walking around the table to place them down.
Other than that, Bill’s is worthy of all the bums on the restaurant’s seats. It may be a chain throughout the UK but Bill’s doesn’t have that ‘feel’ to it. Ideally situated in the hub of the restaurant scene at Highcross, this is the perfect break from retail therapy.
Opening Times: Monday-Thursday 0830-2230, Friday & Saturday 0800-2300,
Nearest Train Station: Leicester