Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Mon Dec 13 2010
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).
The original branch of Bill’s opened in Lewes, East Sussex in 2001 with a simple plan to combine an old-fashioned grocer (baskets of local fruit and veg) with a mid-market deli (displays of own-label jam, olive oil and Continental treats) and an informal café serving an unpretentious British/Med menu.
As is often the case, simple things can be the hardest, but judging by the mini-chain’s success (there’s a phenomenally busy branch in Brighton and another in Reading), Bill’s is getting it right.
This is Bill Collison’s first foray into London, helped along by investment from restaurateur Richard Caring (who owns The Ivy, among many others). It could hardly be more central: it’s settled in a plum spot in the new St Martin’s Courtyard development, a bit of a haven in an area sensible Londoners usually avoid.
Apart from a lone box of complimentary clementines outside the door, fresh produce is notably absent in this branch – although to be fair, it’s been many years since Covent Garden rents encouraged greengrocery as a vocation.
Instead of boxes of dirty tubers there are tables over two floors; bunches of chillies dangle down and deli shelves stretch to the ceiling. Wooden tables look pre-loved and there are recipes writ large on the walls. Staff are pally and very efficient; the extensive all-day menus they bring read so well that selection is a test.
We went for a beetroot salad (both golden and fuchsia, with lentils and parsley), a chorizo brioche sandwich with houmous, yogurt and some brilliant skin-on chips. A straightforward dish of grilled chicken with lemon, rosemary and garlic was also perfectly thought-out and made with good ingredients.
Other options include couscous and feta salad, fishcakes with tartare slaw or a fish finger sandwich. There’s also breakfast, served until noon – which a bit of a local institution in the Brighton outpost.
There aren’t many places in Covent Garden that suit so many purposes so well – an early breakfast, a quick lunch, an afternoon coffee or a more substantial dinner (Bill’s serves booze too). A very welcome and welcoming addition to the area.
Bill's 13 Slingsby Place
- Cross Street:
St Martin's Courtyard
- Venue phone:
020 7240 8183
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Meals served 8am-11pm Mon-Fri; 9am-11pm Sat; 9am-10.30pm Sun
Tube: Covent Garden tube
Main courses £8.95-£15.95
- 13 Slingsby Place
- 020 7240 8183
- 13 Slingsby Place