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Testers Keepers: Bill's Restaurant review by Sarah Pugh

Posted on 24 December 2018

My family and I visited Bills Restaurant on Monday 3rd December 2018. We had never dined here before this date. We arrived around 6.30pm and on arrival we were greeted at the door and shown to a table.

It wasn’t very busy at this point, only one other table was occupied. The restaurant itself was visually pleasing, lots of little lights and quirky décor to look at. It was quite cold though, so we kept our jackets on.

My husband and I have four children, ages 16, 14, five and two. Drinks orders were taken and we were disappointed that they didn’t have any squash for the younger children – only fizzy drinks or pure fruit juices. My husband would have preferred lager on draught too but they only had bottles.

My daughter spilt a drink and broke a glass to which the staff responded very well and attentively. We were offered crayons and colouring sheets. The staff were friendly and made a fuss of the children.

We ordered our food and we were told a few things were not on the menu. We had a lengthy wait for our food, around 40 minutes for the main course. By this point there were three more tables occupied in the restaurant, so still fairly quiet.

Upon visiting the bathroom it was good to see that the toilets were unisex, this is really handy for when my husband takes the little ones to the toilet.

To my horror there was something smeared on the tiles in the cubicle that looked a lot like faeces, it was dried and looked as though it had been there a long time. Otherwise the rest room was again pleasant to look around with a hint of quirkiness.

My eldest and I had the chicken burger which we both found to be really tasty, my daughter actually said it was the best she’d ever had. It was a large burger with a tub full of fries too.

It came with a cheesy, peppery sauce which was also delicious. The only disappointment was that the restaurant had no mayonnaise when I asked for some.

My son had the full rack of ribs which was a very large dish indeed and looked visually pleasing. He wasn’t too happy with the sauce and said it tasted funny.

We all tried the sauce and agreed that it was unlike any other we had tried before, it was also quite spicy. The dish came with sweet potato fries as standard and my son had not read this.

It would have been nice for the waiter to ask which type of chips he would prefer as he didn’t like sweet potato ones, however we did not ask for them to be changed due to the wait we had already had.

My husband had the green Thai curry, which looked like a very small dish, particularly in comparison to the other adult meals. He said it was tasty but he was certainly still hungry.

The younger two shared a meal of sausage and mash which was a decent potion size for a child’s dish and they seemed to enjoy it too, clean plates all round.

At this point we remembered that the children’s menu was a set three course menu and in fact we were not given a starter for them.

We ordered pudding and again waited a long time for this, a further 35 minutes, and by this time we wanted to leave as it was getting past bed time for the children.

We had two chocolate melting bombs, one chocolate brownie and two children’s ice creams and they were all very tasty.

When we asked for the bill we gave in the gift card along with some cash to cover the rest, the receipt stated that a 10% service charge had been added.

The waiter walked away with it and looked as though he was having some difficulty with the cash register so called another member of staff over. We waited 5 minutes for our change/receipt and to be thanked but this did not happen.

My husband went over to ask for our receipt which was handed to him with no exchange of words and no change (this amounted to less than £2 so we were happy to leave it but with a service charge already added we did expect to be offered our change).

We left the restaurant with no thanks or goodbye.

We have mixed views; the food was really nice but overpriced in my opinion. To pay this amount of money, it would have to be a special treat meal out for an occasion such as a birthday.

Although the food was good, I think from the overall experience we wouldn’t return to the restaurant. We are a family that eat out once each week and being a family of six we like food to be served quickly and usually look for restaurants with weekday offers.