Monday, 21 September 2015

Bill's / Borough Market

(new phone and new 15MP camera responsible for crisp photos!)

Who are they?

Bill's are an upmarket bistro-style restaurant chain, serving contemporary European cuisine for breakfast lunch and dinner and can be found in more upmarket locations in London and across the country. Be warned: they are often busy if not completely booked out, so do bear this in mind if you decide to venture out to one!

Thoughts

After making plans for a dinner and movie with friends, only to be let down in stupendous fashion by national rail services (thanks for nothing, South Eastern!), the missus and I found ourselves wandering around London's fashionable Borough Market (a location with other delicious burgers) and found their restaurant on the corner of Clink Street on the north side of the market towards the river walk. Despite it being only 6pm, the restaurant area was already half full and by the time we had ordered food, the rest of the seats had been taken. Either go early or reserve to avoid disappointment, I would say!

As a bistro, the wooded interior reminds me of places like Leon, all seeking to invoke a sort of faux 70s Mediterranean charm and the food on offer is very typical of other places in London like Cafe Rouge. This also means that they were bound to have a decent burger on offer so I decided to check out their offering - a beef patty with tomato and lettuce encased in a toasted sesame seed bun and paired with a portion of fries. This all comes presented on a posh-looking wooden board and with the fries in a distressed looking bucket and while it was nice to look at, I was surprised that the bacon and cheese had to be added at an extra £1.50 per ingredient. Sure you get what you ask for; a thick slab of cheese and a couple of fairly well cooked slices of back bacon, but I can't help feeling that it is a bit much for just an extra.

This aside, the burger itself is rather large, but suffers from the same problem as Burger & Lobster. A rather above-average tasting beef burger, which arrived fairly well cooked despite confirming that I wanted it cooked medium rare, marred by the inclusion of far too much salad to bulk out the size. I definitely think that the beef made for a great burger, but I think it would not have been quite so great without the extra bacon and cheese and without the fresh lettuce the burger or the addition of a sauce it would have been slightly on the dry side for me. 

As for the sides, the fries are sadly nothing particularly special. They may have been cooked slightly longer than usual, but after trying some proper triple cooked chips these come off as slightly amateurish for their limp appearance. As for size, the bucket is deceptively deep, making for more fries than you might think, but don't expect a particularly generous portion.

Conclusion

A nice and tasty burger if a very prim and clean version of the form. The well presented burger with cocktails makes Bill's good for dates and meals with close friends, though you do seem to pay for the privilege.

Score

7/10

Where can I find them?