Bill’s Breakfast Breakdown (Dale Street Manchester)

This has always been our go to place when travelling around the UK.  So far we have been to Bill’s at Brighton, Cheltenham, Durham, York, Leeds and now Manchester.

We went here for breakfast on Sunday morning instead of having the £20 full English at the Lowery Hotel; we just could not imagine how they could deliver such an outstanding breakfast when the hotel is lacking in its former glory, but that is another review.

We arrived at 10am and were promptly seated.  The restaurant was very quiet; we must have missed the Sunday rush!

We ordered a pot of Tea for one, an Americano,  two of Bill’s Breakfast £7.95 (one with a side/extra of Crispy Potato at £1.25 and one a side/extra of Black Pudding at £1.50) which we would  share.

Drinks arrived soon after with our breakfasts following about 5 minutes later.

When we first started going to Bill’s I am sure you got two of each of  your extras with regards the potato and black pudding (and David assures me it was the case and my memory is not failing me). I’m not sure that at £1.50, a slice even with overheads that is a fair deal for a slice fat!  Especially if it is killed through overcooking!

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The more I think, the more I do not see Bill’s as being good value.  If you took off the black pudding we are paying £8 for two eggs, effectively one sausage, 3 pieces of streaky bacon (the cheapest cut of bacon) the smallest tomato  half, and two pieces of small-ish toasted bread (the eggs are small; so use this as a guide if you require more evidence).

We regularly have breakfast at two beautiful farm shops in Yorkshire that have won awards for their quality and they charge £9.00 for their full english – with no extra’s to pay for (see picture 2).

Quality is hit and miss. Sometimes you get crispy bacon and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you get soft eggs and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you get a soft and juicy tomato and sometimes you get an unripe under-cooked version but most of the time you do get overcooked Black Pudding!

On a positive note the staff were friendly and the toilets are generally spotless.

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Picture 1 Bills Breakfast and Picture 2 Farm Shop Breakfast the latter is cheaper.

My final observation we always have to wait for a table at our local establishments (they both hold about 50 covers) unlike Bill’s which in the last year I have not seen busy at breakfast…now that may be coincidence but I doubt that considering how many branches we have been to.  What is consistent is Bill’s inconsistency which is quickly relegating this from being our  go-to place for breakfast.

 

Cost £22.70 (before service) as at March 2016

If you’d like to read more of my reviews then you could follow me on Twitter @EatBakeBlogUK

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Greater things to come (Cote – 115-116 Church Street, Brighton)

We came to Cote for my fathers 70th birthday on 23rd, as my brother has been here previously and recommended the restaurant.

Upon arrival we were greeted warmly and shown to our table on the terrace but as it was a little scruffy looking and the smokers had adopted the table next to ours we decided to dine inside; which was no issue as the restaurant was not busy.

We ordered drinks and soon after ordered food with all bar one, having two courses (there is nothing suitable for a 3 year old diner).

We were served bread which was deliciously warm and crispy, but this brassiere chose not to offer side plates – and at their prices and their discretionary service charge this is not what you’d expect… where does one place their bread!?

The starters arrived we were all pleased with our choices.  I had the prawns but they were a lacking chilli which was one of the reasons I chose them but there was plenty of garlic so the dish had flavour and well presented.

The main courses: the majority ordered fillet steak in various guises with one rib eye and a sausage and mash for my nephew.  I chose fillet with Garlic butter and a side of minted peas. The fillet steak was well presented and hot and had been served on a hot plate (refreshing as so many restaurants serve hot food on cold or tepid plates).  It had been cooked to my liking medium-rare, it was tender and very flavours some, top marks.   The peas however, were wrinkled and were lacking in mint but had been seasoned.

Medium-rare fillet steak with garlic butter
Medium-rare fillet steak with garlic butter

Desserts were ordered and I will always order Crème Brule which was a good standard.

We asked for an Irish coffee for the Birthday boy, but the waiter advised this  was not something Cote offered and without much fuss the waiter then rescinded and offered to make one which we appreciated.  However, our gratitude soon did a U-turn as they chose to use a small wine glass and what should have been a steaming hot Irish coffee was a tepid rocket fuelled coffee.  When we got the bill they had also charged for a double Jameson’s which we did not doubt had been used. I spoke to the manager as we concerned the staff were using doubles without saying especially after a few wines. She apologised and insisted in refunding – which was appreciated.

Overall the steak was excellent, the service was good but I suspect their could be issues on a busy service; the waiting staff were not keep an eye on the “bus boys” who bring the food up from the kitchen. It is a wonder to me why do many restaurants sacrifice service over profit which can only lead to a downturn in business when it fails.

Cost was  just under £300 for 6 adults.

This could be a Winder Winner; but for now it is three out of five until I see the team in action on a busy Saturday night.