Culinary treat tops off an afternoon trip to historic city

Bill's Restaurant, Durham City.
Bill's Restaurant, Durham City.

I was walking around Durham City taking in the beautiful history and culture and fancied a bit of a culinary treat.

The city has a lot of choice, but we decided we would drop into Bill’s Restaurant in Saddler Street, which spirals up to the Cathedral.

Mojo Marinated Chicken Skewers.

Mojo Marinated Chicken Skewers.

We were shown to our table and assessed the menu and ordered a few drinks, although I felt I had to have a go at one of the milk shakes.

I went for the Chocolate Brownie Milkshake (£4.55) and it was a great start. It was like a cake in a glass, and the chance to do what you’re never allowed as a kid, have some pudding first.

For starters I opted for a tasty sounding Golden Fried Pork Sesame Dumplings (£5.95).

It comprised of shredded pork wrapped in a thin and crispy filo pastry and a deep flavoured sweet and spicy dipping sauce that I’d love to have the opportunity to buy off the shelf – it was so good they could sell it in a jar.

My companion went for Dakkochi chicken skewers (£6.50), which brought a beautiful barbecue seared flavour of the South Korean street food to the centre of Durham.

For main course I chose Mojo marinated chicken skewers (£11.25) which with its tzatziki took me back to memories of dipping barbecued chicken into the traditional Greek dip, while enjoying the scenery of a lovely little family-run beach-facing Greek Island restaurant.

It also came with toasted fregola, which is a form of pasta from Sardina made from semolina rolled into small pea-shaped balls. Every day is an education and this was the first time I’ve tasted this little staple and although the soft texture wouldn’t be my choice to cook at home, it added to the worldly experience of the whole sitting.

Although I didn’t order it myself I also managed to check out the Bill’s burger (£10.95) ordered by my eating companion for the afternoon.

Although it did not have the splendour to the eye of our other plates to that point, it was a good burger and I dare say it could even be one of the biggest sellers for the venue, which seen a constant flow of customers throughout our visit.

After all that we were starting to feel like we couldn’t eat any more, but just couldn’t stop when we checked out the sweet menu.

My dining partner opted for a great British pud, plumb and apple crumble with salted caramel ice cream (£6.25).

And as is often my choice, I went for the Banana and Honeycomb Cheescake (£6.25) which topped off for me what was an unexpected experience of quality and creative food.

The restaurant chain was built up by former greengrocer Bill Collison and based on fresh and seasonal ingredients, so the menu changes all year around.

It was an enjoyable afternoon chilling with a few drinks and enjoying fine food, just make sure you don’t have anything too strenuous planned for afterwards.

Peter Tennick