This time last week we whisked ourselves off to Bills Restaurant in city centre Manchester.
It’s a place I’ve wanted to try for a while and the Bills chain always seems so photogenic when I’ve seen it on Instagram.
But aside from it looking great there’s the main reason you go to a restaurant and that is to eat. I’ll be honest, and do shout up if you are similar, when I’m with the kids I tend to play it safe when eating out. Going to the same handful of places we like, as we’ve had good experiences there in the past. Restaurants do get brownie points if they are child friendly.
I’ve another reason why I tend to play it safe too- food allergies. When you know a restaurant has got options for you and they are tasty ones- why struggle with anywhere new? A bit lazy I know.
So in the name of getting out of my comfort zone, which seems to be a reoccurring theme for 2015, we went to Bills.
The Manchester branch is located on John Dalton Street and has all the vibes of an Italian trattoria with seating outside, as well as inside, and despite being on a fairly busy road it felt really relaxed.
So Bills definitely has the looks, loads of interesting bits and bobs around the place, I finally figured out Bill is an actual person too. Who has his recipe book for sale in the restaurant amongst Bills jam, Bills chocolate, Bills chutney and even Bills sticks of rock. They also have a comprehensive allergy menu.
Despite the restaurant being busy it didn’t feel crowded or like there were too many people, the fact there are lots of booth type nooks and crannies to eat in helped with this. The staff were excellent and our server especially couldn’t do enough for us. Littlest quickly cottoned on to the fact that he was where the food was coming from so made him her new best friend.
Foodwise the menu isn’t stupidly long, and on reading the food felt very much like the things you’d want to cook at home but way better versions! The sort of food you’d dream about making at a summer bbq perhaps along with some comfort food staples.
Mr OFS went for the Thai curry and he has only just stopped going on about how nice it was, seriously- he mentioned it about three times a day in the following days after our visit. Eldest had the Macaroni Cheese which she always loves. And littlest and I had adult and child versions of the same dish- chicken skewers. These were super tasty and melt in your mouth chicken, for me there could’ve been more on the plate though… Littlest wasn’t as keen- at the 18 month stage of “What? I got to chew?” So I ended up having hers (now, I was happily full) and she was brought by her new best friend an alternative of humus and crudités which she gobbled up.
For pudding Mr OFS had the cinnamon doughnuts which he again raved about (not quite as much as the curry though). Eldest had chocolate ice cream, I was happy to have a mango sorbet that suited my allergy needs and littlest had two helpings of fruit salad which she virtually inhaled!
We had a great time at Bills and we’d go again for sure. The only constructive criticism I’d give is, I would like to see a couple more dairy and egg free options on the menu as well as on the kids menu, as we were a bit limited with littlest (same allergies as me- woe is genetics). And, this isn’t a massive thing, but eldest loves the colouring/activity sheets that some restaurants do. either as their menu or a pack in itself, I’d actually brought paper and crayons just in case, which she did ask for.
Disclosure- We were invited to Bills in order to review it openly and honestly- thoughts and opinions are my own.