Fresher than fresh… – Bill’s
- Name – Bill’s
- Location –The Orient, 112 The Trafford Centre, Stretford, Manchester M17 8EH
Ever since visiting the Trafford Centre as a kid, the mystique of the experience has held a special place in my heart. However, unfortunately for those visiting from both near and far, the eateries who call it home have always seemed to fall short of the grandest of houses. Being limited on options has never been a problem, but lacking in quality has.
It always seemed as if the dull gathering of over-priced, under thought-out food was the only thing we were ever going to see. However, in Bill’s all that has changed, with its new refurb in tow, the restaurant feels much more ‘city centre’ than all those surrounding it. Having always been a fan of the Manchester restaurant I would say my visit was filled with initial trepidation, but easily lived up to my past experiences and in fact, out-did them in almost every way.
The restaurant itself is dimly-lit but not dark enough to be anything other than comfy, the aesthetic of the whole place feeling like a summerhouse nestled away from the bleak Manchester Winter. I ordered an Aperol as if often the case when somewhere reminds me of sunnier climes, and I can honestly say it was the closest thing to Italy I’ve tasted in a while, wiping the floor with most Italian based eateries within the heart of the city.
What was evident before the food had even arrived was the sense of pride the staff had in their new surrounds. Being typically annoying, we turned up grossly early and were seated immediately, which always helps when arriving on an empty stomach. As far as service goes, the staff were perfectly attentive without once catching me, mouth full of food, mid-chew trying to tell them everything was going well. Which is an incredible skill, believe me.
To start I had the halloumi, which I love, I really do, but I am always tentative about ordering, I suppose there is something about anything fantastic coated in a batter which makes me feel uneasy. I mean, I had a battered Mars bar once, and I won’t ever forget that moment. The halloumi, however, was crisp and surprisingly light. We also ordered the Chicken and Sesame Dumplings, which once again were incredibly fresh, which seems to be a running theme throughout everything the restaurant stands for. Simplicity runs through the menu in an incredibly delicate manner, the food is honest and the focus is placed entirely on taste. Both starters were deliciously moreish and certainly laid out the kind of eatery Bill’s wants to be, which is one that does everything those in the Trafford Centre previously hadn’t.
For the main, I had the burger special which was an Asian Chicken Burger with Smoked Chilli Jackfruit. The Burger itself had been grilled and marinated in an Asian fusion coating, the great success of the burger was indeed the Jackfruit which served as a sauce with a little added punch and texture. The combination was something was a real success and that only added to my immediate love for this restaurant. I just feel like when somewhere knows exactly what it stands for and makes every dish fit that perfectly sculpted mould it will always be a success.
The sky really is the limit for Bill’s as an eatery, it lives proudly in the most perfect home. Footfall will never be a problem, and honestly, I will be very surprised if anyone elects to eat elsewhere in the Trafford Centre after eating here. It does what its neighbours claim to be specialists in, but with more love and care than any of those in its vicinity. The idea that a budding empire was built on the back of one greengrocer’s dream is indeed endearing, but what’s more so is that his influence still runs through the veins of this business.