As most of you know by now, I have excellent taste in food and men. (What? I never said I was modest!) The happy intersection of these two, led me to bills in Sydney!
I went to the original location in Darlinghurst for brunch on a Friday morning. The legendary communal table was gone but the the place was bustling. The restaurant is housed in an unassuming grey building, a block away from busy Victoria St. The wait staff, dressed in black, are a blur. Honestly, their movements are choreographed, those embodiments of efficiency.
So I put myself in their hands, ordered a cappucino and bill's famous corn fritters. Allow me to explain. Many items enjoy star status on the breakfast menu. For example, the eggs routinely get rave reviews! The ricotta hotcakes and corn fritters please the most exacting palates. bills is known for not just good food prepared with fresh, flavorful ingredients but CONSISTENT good food. The latter, as we know, is much harder!
The restaurant is great for people watching. One table was in the middle of what looked like a business meeting, complete with macbook and coffee, over breakfast. In a nook, two women dove into fruit and coffee, looking like they had stepped off the covers of a magazine. Quite likely they had!
My favorite thing to do is to watch people interact with food in the context of their relationship! Take for example, the folks seated on either side of me. Two couples to be precise. The couple to my right looked like newly-weds, in the early stages of developing their couple-equation. Still aglow with marital bliss. He had the eggs and she had the corn fritters. Their glances shy and happy. The couple to the left of me were well-ensconced in togetherness. The music between them was a familiar, oft-played tune, one that lingered and seemed to always play in the background. They spoke little, seemed comfortable in their own skin and with each other. He had the eggs and she had pancakes.
At the end of their respective meals, they looked into each others eyes. The food, the ambience effortlessly fell away, highlighting the simple emotion underlying their enjoyment of life. Love! Truly, theres a simplicity to bill's that somehow enhances the whole experience of eating, and indeed, being!!
Corn fritter image credit: Dimsum Dolly
Bill Granger's Corn Fritter:
(recipes from Bill Granger's Bill's Food
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob
1/2 cup sliced spring onions
1/4 cup chopped coriander and parsley
4 tbsp vegetable oil
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and paprika into a large bowl, stir in sugar and make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and milk. Gradually add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth, lump-free batter. The batter will be quite stiff.
Place corn, spring onions and herbs in a mixing bowl and add just enough batter to lightly bind them (about 3/4 cup). Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a non-stick fying pan on medium heat, then drop in 2 tablespoons of batter per fritter and cook 4 fritters at a time, Cook for 2 minutes, or until the underside of each fritter is golden. Turn over and cook fritters on the other side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm while cooking the remaining batter.
Corn fritters on the web:
All about Bill