Fancying a lunch out in the city centre with the family, this week’s venue certainly fitted the Bill.
It was a bustling, lively Spring Saturday in the city centre with a French market on and that vibrancy continued in to the restaurant - Bill’s in Church Street, overlooking St John’s Square.
Music was playing, of all gentres and loud enough to create an atmosphere, and there was plenty of chatter as we were shown to a table.
It opened two years ago as remains a great looking place, one of the go-to chains which have been attracted to this particular part of the city in recent years.
There’s lots of exposed flooring and wood, a variety of seating options and open ceiling highlighting the industrial look with visible ducting, and hanging metal lightshades mixed with chandeliers.
There’s no draught beers, but I was happy enough with my Budvar as we waited for our food to arrive.
Monday to Friday (12-7pm) there is a bargain of a set menu to be had but at the weekend it is main menu only.
There were half a doxen or so starters, some more appealing than others - roasted tomato soup, prawn cocktail, crispy calamari and oak smoked chicken liver parfair, for instance.
My grown up daughter went with a favourite - crumbed halloumi sticks, and she was quick to share to show how good they were. Crunchy, golden coating and a yummy soft, warm cheesy filling - with a garlic and lemon dip (£5.60).
I went with a little Korean street food - not what I expected to find I must admit - with Dakkochi chicken skewers (£6.50).
The spicy Korean barbecue glaze made for a stunning starter, particularly with a squeeze of lime and a few spring onion shavings.
Fancying a little comfort food I ordered a shepherd’s pie (£12.95) to follow, and wasn’t disappointed. The soft, juicy braised lamb had kept its taste, and the mash topping had a great cheesey smell and flavour.
My biggest complaint: It was so incredibly hot - I wanted to eat it there and then, not give it 10 mintes to cool down or risk the lining of my tongue!
It came with a little boat of Bill’s IPA gravy and a pot of savoy cabbage, though I am not sure why.
Across the table, a by all accounts very juicy and tasty burger (£10.95) appeared, topped with streaky bacon, a little soft but plenty of flavour, and cheese, with a pot of fries.
And I was also impressed with the children’s menu (£6.50) (which offered steak and chips). Both enjoyed cucumber and carrot sticks with humous, the mac ‘n’ cheese was a bit stodgy, but the sausages and mash was delicious. So too the ice cream!
Brad Barnes dines at Bill’s, in Church Street, Peterborough city centre. Tel 01733 347258 and www. bills-website.co.uk/restaurants/peterborough