Following a trip to Techniquest we walked into Cardiff Bay for an early family dinner. After strolling around and wondering where to go, we decided upon Bills. We’ve been to the one in Cardiff centre on numerous occasions, but we hadn’t tried the one at the Bay before. Being a Saturday and in pre- theatre dining time we were lucky to get a table – we’d not sat down for five minutes before the whole place was packed and it was only half past five.
Anyone who has been to Bills before will know the formula, and it is no different here. The rustic wooden chairs, French country linen napkins, stylish bar and its casual atmosphere. I always think it’s more like Jamie Oliver’s than Jamie Oliver’s own restaurants. But despite its cliche trendiness, it does work, and it makes for a very casual and family friendly dining experience.
It is worth heading off here that we did not have the best time at Bills, in no fault at all to the restaurant. It just happened to be one of those meals where the littlest was not on form which meant that one of us was always trying to placate her, we couldn’t really chat as a family and we left wondering why we had just spent £60 for the privilege of feeling rather stressed! I also head this off now as an excuse for some rather poor photos, I didn’t have time to take a photo of the boys food before they had started to tuck in, and the one I did manage of their dessert looks like slop, as the ice-cream had started to melt!
But saying all that, I’m relieved that we were in Bill’s when the little one was not on form rather than anywhere else, as the service and family focus from the place was excellent. As we hadn’t planned to go out for dinner we didn’t have any colouring with us, but when my youngest boy asked for it they were quick to produce a big jar of colouring crayons, and as they were out of paper they gave them both a waiter’s order pad to use and keep to draw on instead.
I opted for the South Indian Fish Curry (£13.95), which was served with pladina bread and my husband chose the house Bills burger with cheese (£11.80). The curry was very tasty, but for me not very filling and by later in the evening I had the munchies. My husband thought the burger was really nice, good quality meat, a nice thick burger and you could specify how you wanted it cooked which is always a good sign.
The kids meals were also very good value; for £6.50 they had a drink, crudités and hummus to start, a main and a dessert. They chose the sausages with chips and the chicken burger with cheese which were both devoured pretty quickly and were given the thumbs up. For dessert they had the chocolate brownie and ice-cream and as my little madam wasn’t eating from the menu (we’d taken her a pouch) she was given a scoop of ice-cream and a wafer as a complimentary treat which I thought was a really nice touch.
I may have been tempted with dessert, but as the little madam wasn’t in the best of moods we thought it was better to cut our losses and leave, which was a shame as I would have liked to have been a little less rushed and enjoy the cosy atmosphere for a little longer.
I would recommend Bills for a family meal without a doubt (although I’d opt for a burger) and we will return, I just hope we have a better behaved baby next time. So give it a go and if you have little ones that are being less than angelical at least you can rest assure that the buzzing atmosphere will drown out some of the noise if they just happen to misbehave!