Bill’s and some good karma (finally)

On my way to Bill’s I saved a person’s life. Seriously. I pulled a young girl out of the way of a very fast travelling police car. I am hoping this goes some way to replenishing my somewhat depleted karma stock (see this post. And I once stepped on a homeless guy at Leicester Square station).

So it was on a snowy Sunday that I walked into Bill’s in Covent Garden and said that my friend S (who came to this with me) had made a reservation. “Um, sorry but we don’t have any more reservations for today. Are you sure it is this branch”. “Oh”. So I called S and yes, he did mean the Brewer Street branch. You might have wanted to specify that dear. Luckily it is only a short walk, and you know, I saved someone’s life on the way, so it was all very fortuitous really.

I ordered a Bloody Mary straight away. It was very good. Fresh horseradish grated in, ground black pepper sprinkled on top, a nice stick of celery and Tabasco and Lea and Perrins on the table to spice it to your taste. The menu is fairly typical bistro food – burgers, fish pie, steak, moules frites –  nothing too exciting, but all very appetising. I spied a pecan pie on the dessert menu. I would most definitely be having that.

Cod at Bill'sWe both ordered one of the day’s specials, pan-fried cod with smoked bacon, leeks and peas, soft poached egg and grain mustard sauce, skinny chips and a tomato, red onion and olive salad to share. The fish was soft and flaked beautifully, the egg was the perfect consistency for chip dipping, and the sauce had a good sharpness to it. The chips were crisp, salty and hot, and the fresh tomato salad was a contrast to the creamy sauce. All in all it was just what I wanted to be. Simple, but beautifully cooked, food.

Then came disappointment. They didn’t have any pecan pie. I almost cried. Until I saw a plate of cinnamon doughnuts with strawberries and chocolate dipping sauce go by. It looked pretty good, and it was. My only complaint was they were a bit stingy on the strawberries, just two and they weren’t particularly sweet, but then perhaps that was our fault for ordering something out of season.

At £25 a head, it was pretty good value given the location and quality of food. It is not a restaurant I can get excited about. There was nothing on the menu I haven’t had before, and nothing that I am desperate to go back to try. But what it does do it does very well. The food was excellent, the menu was varied, there was a good atmosphere but we could still hear ourselves talk. It would be the perfect place to take the parents, or go for a proper catch-up with an old friend. I won’t be rushing back, but it is the sort of restaurant that is useful to have up your sleeve, just in case you too find yourself needing to recover after saving someone’s life.

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