Iron Chef Shellie

Bills Darlinghurst

Having owned Bill Granger cookbooks for years, I've been desperate to get to one of his restaurants.

Travel & Dining

Bills Darlinghurst
September 9, 2011

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Bills Darlinghurst

Let’s start from the beginning of the Sydney feast trip; Bills in Darlinghurst. Simon recommended we hit up the Darlinghurst cafe instead of the Surry Hills cafe as it has a better atmosphere. The Surry Hills cafe was closer to our accomodation, but we trekked a little further as to follow a local’s advice.

By this time (around 10.30am) I was glad there were a few tables free, as I was starving from being up so early, and having a chlorine croissant.

The first thing you notice as you walk through the door is the gorgeous over sized table, with a giant vase of cherry blossoms, a massive bowl of fresh eggs, and a selection of newspapers and magazines. I wish I could have taken the table home with me, but it would have taken up our whole living area! …. note to self… find a bigger place.

I’ve been wanting to go to any of Bill Granger’s cafes since I first started my blog. I have all his cookbooks and have always been eyeing off making that recipe for ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter and bananas. I’ve heard that the price of the hotcakes as gone up a bit since bananas have become a bit of luxury item as of late at $13/kg thanks to the cyclone.

Bills Homemade Lemonade $6.50 and Chai Tea $4.00

In the weeks leading up to us going up to Sydney, I had been studying the menu. I was glad breakfast was an all day option, and I would be guaranteed getting the hotcakes even if I couldn’t make breakfast time. When we arrived it was too early for lunch, so that provided me with less options (which was good!!) so it was hot cakes for me and two drinks…. cos I could πŸ˜›

Bills own organic coffee by single origin roasters; reg $3.90

Hamsley was surviving on coffee for the day, and I was going to get my energy from sugar as I don’t drink coffee. The coffee at Bills was Hamsley’s pick for the best coffee for our trip. I had a chai tea which was lovely and comforting, with the addition of honey. We shared a home made lemonade which, although was nice, wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I wanted more fizz or tartness…..or both! Still delicious though.

Full Aussie Breakfast $24.50

Scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, bacon, roast tomato, chipolatas and mushrooms

Hamsley wanted something with bacon, and who wouldn’t. Whilst you could order anything with a side of bacon, the full Aussie breakie was the dish that called out to him on the menu. I secretly wished he ordered the corn cakes, but I’ll just have to next time we are up there πŸ˜‰ There was sooooo much egg on his plate, it just went on forever! He said they tasted rather buttery, but everything else was fine. (He ordered sans tomato, he hates cooked tomato… just for those people who were trying to find the tomato in the picture… yes, you.)

Ricotta Hotcakes with fresh banana and honeycomb butter $17.50

I, of course couldn’t go past the ricotta hotcakes. WHICH I LOVED!!! So light and fluffy….. and with the caviar of fruit… banana! πŸ˜› Can’t wait to make this dish at home, since Sydney is a bit far for me to travel for breakfast!

I’m so glad Bills lived up to my expectations that I’ve had for nearly 3 years. Service was friendly, atmosphere was gorgeous… I would have loved to have tried lunch and dinner at Bills, but we had a rule; don’t visit the same place twice in the trip. I’ll be cooking Bill Granger’s recipes in my kitchen till my next Sydney trip!


19 comments on “Bills Darlinghurst
  1. Cherrie

    Those pancakes look delish! I’ve been to Bill’s in Surrey Hills many years ago and loved it back then. Would love to try his Darlinghurst store

    September 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm
  2. Laura

    ive been to the bills in surry hills & it wasn’t as nice as this. it’s now on my list, it looks delightful.

    I’ll have to try the hot cakes next time. I had the fritters last time & they didn’t dissapoint. I like my fritters corny & they were. I’m picky & yet these are in my top five.

    September 9, 2011 at 10:53 pm
  3. Laura

    I’ve never had a bad meal at bills, love it there. Agree on the atmosphere too, and it’s different again in Woollahra too.
    Bought some yellow gold for $6.99/kilo this week. Yippee!

    September 10, 2011 at 7:39 am
  4. John Newell

    Having lived in inner city Sydney for many years, Bills was a great meeting place for a nosh up. So good to see the tradition lives on. If you want another great Sydney icon, try the Friend in Hand pub in Glebe, closer to where I lived Value food at their “Fork in Hand” upstairs restaurant and Wednesday night crab racing that HAS to be experienced. When in the bar – LOOK UP and experience a hallowed bar that used to be the domain of the old Bourbon of Beefsteak before it renovated and lost its soul. Love your posts! cheers JN

    September 10, 2011 at 9:42 am
  5. Michelle chin

    argh, hotcakes, pancakes, english muffins, crumpets, blinisss… i’m confused! time for some wikipedia-ing!

    September 10, 2011 at 9:44 am
  6. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    Oooh those pancakes. I have fond memories of a romance I had with them while in Sydney with my mum. Love the idea of the lemonade. Beautiful shots. Yay for Sydney fun!
    Heidi xo

    September 10, 2011 at 11:31 am
  7. Hannah

    So glad your trip started out with such a delicious bang! (Gross prior croissant aside.) Hurrah!

    September 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm
  8. Nic@diningwithastud

    It’s on my list too….and I live here lol. Those hotcakes look so fab!

    September 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm
  9. Leah

    Love the ricotta hotcakes at Bills. I used to try make it a ritual to go to Woollahra at least once a month for hotcakes brekkie, when I worked in Paddington πŸ™‚

    September 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm
  10. mademoiselle dΓ©licieuse

    This is the Bills to visit as its his original and where he introduced the communal table so many years ago. You’ll just have to try the corn fritters, although who could pass up his creamy scrambled eggs, at another Bills when you’re next here!

    September 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm
  11. penny aka jeroxie

    I love the pancakes as well. Had it when I first went.. πŸ™‚

    September 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm
  12. Vee @ Munching (in) Melbourne

    Good idea! I went to Bills Surrey Hills and it was mad disappointing, rubbery eggs and the lot! The scramble here looks waaay better – and the hotcakes too clearly!

    September 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm
  13. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I guess we really take Bill’s for granted having so many near us. Also his recipe for the hotcakes is excellent and they really work out nicely if you want to make them at home.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm
  14. April@MyFoodTrail

    So did the ricotta pancakes taste like his recipe in his cookbook? I guess pancakes would be hard to go wrong! I always wonder if chefs with restaurants who bring out cookbooks secretly alter the recipe so you can never make it as good as they can and have to go back to the restaurant!!

    September 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      I haven’t tried the ones in the cookbook yet, but I have always wondered the same thing πŸ˜›

      September 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm
  15. Winston

    Oh my gosh, Bills!! I just went there a coupla days ago and must say was one of my fav meals while I was there. Totally didn’t expect that! The pancakes were SO good… Your post is making me miss it already =(

    September 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm
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