The Bill’s Backyard Party was a Yelp event and was supposed to take place in the outside area, but unfortunately, the sun had disappeared by the time evening approached. Fret not! Bill’s had a plan and we were shown to one side of the restaurant next to the backyard part. At least it was still bright and pleasant!*
Bill’s Backyard Party interior
The interior of the Manchester branch echoes the others, but I do love the huge glass windows, vintage chandeliers, random chilli decorations and metallic tables. This is a good part of the restaurant to sit in when you’re hoping for a sunny, warm day but Manchester did not get the memo!
We were all given a cocktail as well as a quiz sheet upon arriving at Bill’s. The cocktail was the lovely Hedgerow Fizz, a delightful start to the evening. Very easy to drink. We were told the tags attached were part of a prize draw to be done at 8pm. The quiz sheet asked questions about Bill’s and their recent menu, so we all got our phones out searching for answers, but we were also comparing with each other and asking the waitresses. I think everyone managed to fill theirs in.
The Summer Rum Punch was definitely me; I really love watermelon in cocktails and the rum was very agreeable to the pairing. The English Country Garden was also nice, but I found it ever so slightly too sweet for my liking. I found that across the table, many preferred the latter to the former, though. More Summer Rum Punch for me then?
Bill’s served the group canapes at the event; these are essentially smaller bite-sized versions of their starters and mains. They give a teaser on how the flavours in the actual dish work. I’ve separated everything into the equivalent starters, mains and desserts so you know where to look for the actual dish. Note that the food you get will not be identical to these canapes.
This starter is normally served with watercress, mint yogurt dressing, Kalamata olives and costs £5.75. I knew watermelon and feta make a good combo since trying it at Kukoos, but this bite-sized portion was definitely good. If you have not tried this combo, I urge you to, it is simply divine. The saltiness and creaminess of the feta meld well with the fresh tasting watermelon.
This is rolled in sesame seeds and served with lemon and mint yogurt dip. The full starter costs £6.50. This was nice but I struggled to taste the crab over the other flavours. Maybe the crab dough ratio was a little off? More crab, please?
Also contains peas, broad bean and mint pesto, avocado and baby mozzarella with the full dish costing £5.75. I love bruschetta and this had the right mix of ingredients without overpowering the freshness of the tomatoes. Definitely gorgeous and this I would consider ordering the full sized version.
Served with cauliflower puree, bacon and watercress salad, full dish costs £8.50. I love scallops but found that it was hard to taste it with bacon overpowering the flavours. Perhaps the ratio is different in the actual dish? It was nice but not perfect.
The full dish would be served with a Summer slaw with mint, coriander and couscous, Bill’s dressing, baby kale and lemon garlic mayo; priced at £12.95. Coriander is my favourite herb and this paprika and lemon chicken went with it nicely. The chicken was cooked nicely and you can taste the spice from the paprika and the lemon. I’d be interested in seeing if the full-size version works just as well. A yes from me!
Served with Bill’s strawberry jam and clotted cream, the regular sized ones are priced at £4.95, I’m not sure if they sell the mini ones. I only took a mini scone and it tasted good, although it was a small bite of it! There was a valid reasoning for the slight mishap, and that was to save stomach space for that wonderful looking Victoria Sponge.
Inside there is strawberry jam and buttercream and this costs £2.95. This was quite a nice Victoria Sponge for me, not too dense although maybe they went slightly crazy with the caster sugar on top. It was definitely worth sacrificing a large scone to eat this! I don’t think everyone got to eat this as there weren’t enough slices to go around. I think perhaps the idea at the time of the event was that everyone take a scone or a cake, but some took both? We also quickly ran out of plates, so I ended up using a napkin to secure my prize until they got more.
Overall rating and comments
8.5/10 -1 for lack of crab and scallop taste in the canapes. -0.5 for not enough desserts for everyone. It was a very well executed event and I had a lot more fun from this than my first event. We also got given goodie bags. I think everyone got a £20 voucher, but I didn’t as I think I stepped out to use the bathroom whilst this was happening, what a shame.
Would visit again?
Yes, I still find Bill’s to be a decent place to visit for breakfasts at the very least. I may need to check in on their dinners at some point.
Address: Various. There are two in Manchester.
The one in the centre is at 8-12 John Dalton St, Manchester M2 6JP
There is another at the Trafford Centre.
160 Peel Ave, Stretford, Manchester M17 8BL
What do you think of this event? Does it make you want to visit Bill’s Restaurant?
Leave your comments below.
* All food and drinks provided at the event were free, all opinions are my own.