Bill’sBill’s is a restaurant chain that draws its origins back to East Sussex in the late 80s. They’ve had a branch open in Glasgow for a year or two and I’ve been meaning to visit as I didn’t have much of a clue what they were all about. I had a chance to pop in for breakfast on a recent early morning trip.
The interior is a rather odd confection. It feels like a cross between a burger bar in a beach house and a branch of Carluccio’s, which was only heightened by the sight of Carluccio’s just over the road. There are little chandeliers hanging from exposed industrial ducts. If you were feeling generous you’d call it eclectic; otherwise it was a bit confused.The breakfast menu contained many of the expected staples. I opted for their veggie breakfast which brought together rather a lot of intriguing items: toast, hummus, poached eggs, guacamole, mushrooms, tomatoes and sweet chilli.
This quickly arrived and was rather more structured than I’d envisaged. It was essentially mushrooms and hummus on toast, then avocado, poached eggs and sweet chilli on toast, with a couple of tomatoes straddling things.The sweet chilli was a flat-out error as while the heat worked well the sweetness was cloying. The eggs were beautifully poached. The mushrooms were pretty soggy. The hummus was bright and fresh. The accompanying tea was weak as piss. It was another very mixed bag.
So overall, Bill’s felt rather muddled to me. I like the basic idea and they have a good range of in-house developed ingredients and products, but it all felt like it had been boiled down to the low common denominator to brand it and spread it as a chain. I kept thinking “vanilla”. There are good ideas and good cooking on show, but there’s a pressing need to trim away the less successful pieces from this puzzling assortment.
Blythe scores Bill’s
3/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 13/20
I ate: veggie breakfast
I drank: tea, water
I wore: pinstripes
Total bill: £10.05
Address: 22-24 West Nile Street, City Centre, Glasgow G1 2PW