Fancying a lunch out in Peterborough 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 genres 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. Eclectic indeed.
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 dozen or so starters, some more appealing than others - roasted tomato soup, prawn cocktail, crispy calamari and oak smoked chicken liver parfait, 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 minutes 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!
Review: Brad Barnes dines at Bill’s, in Church Street, Peterborough city centre, March 2017.
Telephone 01733 347258, www.bills-website.co.uk/restaurants/peterborough.