Monday, March 06, 2006

The Sydney Weekend: bill-grimage 1

I went to Sydney.

I went to bills.

3 times.

Do you know who Bill Granger is? He's that blonde restauranter / cookbook author / media darling / celebrity-chef / all-round nice guy who makes delicious food and is a walking advertisment for the merits of the Sydney lifestyle.

Last year, my culinary pilgrimage to Sydney (or should I say, "bill-grimage"), only involved visiting bills 2 in Surry Hills. This year, we went to all three of his restaurants, and I can safely say that I am fully converted to the Bill way.

In the blurb of his latest book, simply bill, it states, "There are many people for whom a visit to Sydney is not complete without a meal at bills". And I am one of those many people!

Here are the photos from our first visit to bills this weekend. My friend An & I had lunch on Friday at bills Darlinghurst (the original one).

bills
433 Liverpool Street

Darlinghurst
NSW 2010
Australia
T +61 2 9360 9631

bills is on a corner of a winding suburban street, and is a medium-sized space with a light, airy atmosphere.






bills interior


2 lovely lattes

Black pepper and pink Murray River salt is provided at the table.


Pepper and Murray River salt

An had a massive serving of scrambled eggs with toast and mushrooms. It was beautiful, but he couldn't finish it.



An: WOW! How many eggs are in this?
Me: Probably 2. And then lots of cream, haha.
An: What, full cream milk?
Me: No, real cream. Lots of it. I've seen him make it on tv.

I had the slightly healthier option of parmesan-crusted chicken breast served with a crunchy fennel 'slaw. I'd seen this in his recipe books, but had never been tempted to make it. However, the dude sitting at the table next to us was eating one, and it smelled fantastic. So I had to order one. And it tasted fantastic too!


parmesan-encrusted chicken with fennel 'slaw

An wasn't in the mood for dessert after his eggs, but I couldn't go past the lovely cakes that were displayed on the counter. (They look just like the pictures of the cakes and desserts in his books!) I asked the waitress to tell me what they all were, and I chose a blueberry, macadamia and white chocolate cake. Drool.


Tea


blueberry white choc macadamia

The cake was served with a jug of runny cream, which was lovely poured over the cake.


Cake

There weren't chunks of white chocolate in it, rather, the chocolate was melted and mixed through the batter. I love cakes made with melted white chocolate - it adds a rich and dense smoothness to the cake better, and infuses it with a lovely buttery-vanilla flavour. Fab! I'm a total white chocolate fiend though, and I'd have chucked white chocolate chunks in there too if I had a choice. In fact, cut the middle man, and give me a bar of white chocolate. Or just hook some white chocolate up to my veins...

Apparently Bill Granger himself was in the building at the time. I know this because a couple brought in their cookbooks and got a waitress to take them down to the bill office for him to autograph. He didn't come up though - apparently it takes a lot of work to run 3 restaurants and be a celebrity chef, and he was in meetings and filming his new series.

4 comments:

cin said...

Try the Valrhona Ivory white chocolate next time you're at Koko Black. That cake sounds great!

Ange said...

I'm almost ready for a weekend in Sydney just to go to Bills! I have recently been given 2 of his books & everythign I have cooked so far is divine

julie said...

Sarah, you make me envious! Wow, people in shorts and vest in bills! summer, sun, heat and bill...wish it was me;-)
BTW, that cake sure looked yummy, must try and reproduce!

Jamie Wodetzki said...

So, Sarah, sounds like you had a good time at Bills, Bills and Bills... Apart from the excellent scrambled eggs, the corn fritters, and the ricotta hotcakes, I reckon Bills is quite overrated. The mushrooms, for example, were really bland and watery the time I tried them.