It's not often we manage to pull together our ex-Chinese Language class to grab a bite to eat. That's not to say that tonight was an exception to the rule either - it certainly wasn't. We were still missing faces from the large cohort of our beginners class we had all met in three years ago, but it's still quite a triumph if we manage to round up more than four people for a feast!
Bills Bar and Bites was a great pick by Chantel. I had previously only known of its existence from the type and hand lettering work shops that Stacey had organised with The Articulate. Once walking up to it, I realised that in a past life, Bill's Bar and Bites was infamously known as Seedy Leedy, a hotel/bar you never particularly wanted to visit, especially on a Wednesday night. Once you enter you can barely tell that it was once a shabby raucous pub. Under new management and accompanied with a sweet make over, Bills Bar and Bites is exactly what its name heralds.
Mostly a bar but also home to a few yummy bites (try the duck cigars and the ceviche, yum!) it's a great option for sharing among friends. You also have sriracha hot chilli sauce for that little extra kick if you want it - and for Chantel it's almost a prerequisite to most of her tapas foods. The grilled bread is a cheeky addition for $2 and you may find yourself slathering on excess condiments and spreads from plates of food you've ordered that somehow hadn't made it into your mouth and are now doing so on bread.
Roomy, open and with a great soundtrack playing in the background, Bills proves to be a place worth returning to, albeit a little after saving up. The tapas does start to add up (especially where concerned with the duck cigars or the courgettes at $6 each) but it isn't the most expensive place that I've had tapas. Bills boasts a large dining area with a warm atmosphere and outside seating.
It was the first time having ceviche and we were urged to try it by Mark. There's a first time for everything and this ceviche was delicious. I kept coming back to it and tried my hardest to share with my friends but found it so difficult. The fish was so fresh, wonderfully cut and the slivers of onions added bite and texture to the smoothness of the meat. I practically stole two thirds off of Meng's plate.
Meng and I had a dessert each (probably over stuffed ourselves too). Unfortunately it was the only dessert offered on the menu and the very fact that there weren't any other choices firmly reminded me of the fact that this place was exactly that, a bar with some bites. I was naive to think they would do a smorgasbord of desserts. That being said the brioche was quite nice, although the chocolate got quite heavy with the bread after a while but luckily the mascarpone and caramel apples (now pears on the menu) were sweet reprieves.
Sometimes all you need is a big wooden table, a couple of candles and some good food and good drinks to spark deep conversation. Bills provides that and I'll definitely be suggesting it as a place to go next time my friends are looking for somewhere to hit up. Bill's.
742 Newcastle Street, Leederville
Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 12:00am
Friday: 2:00pm - 12:00am
Saturday: 12:00pm - 1:00am
Sunday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm