If you are looking for the unconnected restaurant run by Australian chef Bill Granger, called Granger & Co, click here; Bill's (London) is not connected to bills (Sydney).
Growing like topsy, Bill’s now stretches from its East Sussex home right across the south of England and into Wales. This St Martin’s Courtyard branch was the first in the capital and now one of two in Covent Garden alone. The formula is clearly working. Grocery-lined shelves add plenty of colour, if not turnover.
Cutlery is piled in old McCann’s oatmeal tins. Blackboards are ‘chalked’ with recipes, chirpy ideas for increasing your spend, and invitations to become friends on Facebook. The broad menu and relaxed style suits many an occasion, from breakfast to post-theatre cocktails. Several tables were indulging in traditional afternoon tea on our visit (at under a tenner, it’s a wallet-friendly alternative to nearby hotels), but we opted for the ‘lighter mains’ section of the menu. Grilled sea bream wasn’t London’s most sparkling, and paired with a ‘cous cous’ of grated raw cauliflower, watercress and lemon, the predominant flavour was bitterness.
Warm pecan pie arrived a mix of searingly hot and lukewarm in temperature, though the flavour was fine and the malted banana ice-cream that accompanied it was delicious. Service was well meaning if a tad slow and scatty. In all, Bill’s is good to know.