Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Fave or Fail ... bills

I mentioned this place and this guy, Bill Granger, in the chocolate mousse post a couple weeks ago... One of my in-law cousins gave me his cookbook for Christmas and I'm sure I didn't put it down until after the new year. And actually I still haven't really put it down. Bill Granger is a self-made chef and has become REALLY well renown for his simplicity and freshness when it comes to food. To be perfectly honest, considering I came from my mother, who is the world's best chef, making this-that-and-the-other from whatever she has in the fridge that always turns out like the most complicated beautiful dish you'll ever eat... I'm never really into hearing about 'simple' food... because normally in snobby, "we publish cookbooks and are 'certified' in knowing what good food is" cookbooks or restaurants, their "simplicity" equals a few pieces of complicated food stacked in the middle of a giant white plate that doesn't taste like anything! But because it's from Timbuktu, I'm supposed to dote over it and pay the earth! WELL, I'm pleased to tell you that even though this Bill character does have three of his own cafes and is really well known, his 'simple and fresh' approach is actually just that: simple and fresh without sacrificing quantity and normalcy, for lack of a better word. (also i really do think quantity is important... what's the use of making delicious truffle mac-n-cheese if you're only gonna give people one bite?)

So how great is this? After Christmas morning, all I was talking about was going to bills, wanting to experience the greatness of his menu for myself! After all, we were in Sydney! Well Jodie, my beautiful sis-in-law, arranged for us to go early on our last morning so that we could thoroughly enjoy a nice, long family breakfast together before we had to head to the airport. I was impressed from the start... but not 'blow my mind' kind of impressed, impressed that as soon as I walked in the door, it was unassuming, laid back and very friendly from the waitress' 'hello' to the table decor. I felt at home, like the restaurant that I was getting to know in the cookbook was exactly the same place I walked into. And that's a big deal to me when it comes to restaurants, cafes, coffee shops... because isn't it true that food only tastes good when you feel at home? Half the ingredients of a great meal are the people and atmosphere. True right?

So let me introduce you to bills. (yes, it's 'bills', not bill's, and not Bill's.. he wants it to be 'bills' so that's what it is.) Let me show you his view on simplicity and freshness.
 how great is that turquoise bowl full of farm fresh eggs as table decor?
 any place with giant, gorgeous bunches of fresh flowers gets my vote!
 that thing was a mean juicer... see it?
all the fresh ingredients on display for you to see.. fresh homemade loaves of crusty sourdough, from scratch meringues, big jars of honey... so good.
the only saltier salt i've ever tasted was the water at the Dead Sea... literally.
 the coconut bread.. i read the recipe for this first in the cookbook and i knew i had to order it when we arrived. look at that stuff. all i'm gonna say is i've never had anything like it.
second best scrambled eggs i've ever tasted.. he makes them with full cream.. no wonder right? although i'm pretty sure my dad needs to teach him how to use cream cheese instead of just cream. ;)
five grain porridge with freshly stewed fruit
James' full aussie breakfast
grandad and eli.
jodie's eggs and ocean trout... she said it was some of the best she's ever had. wouldn't know, i'm not into that.
yours truly and my husband enjoying our espresso... then he switched to tea.
the waitress couldn't help herself... had to grab Eli. can't blame her.
and a good time was had by all... isn't that restaurant plain and pretty?
goodbye bills... you were outstanding and renewed my faith in chefs who cry, "simple!"

This is a Friday Fave. If you ever get to Sydney and you need a place to refresh your body with great food, head to bills. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Happy Friday!

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