Dubbed by the media as the "best breakfast ever", Bills, a popular Australian breakfast place opened by Bill Granger, is one of the hottest spots in Japan. Given that Japanese have been going insanely crazy over pancakes these days, long queues for more than 2 hours are a common sight during peak hours.
The reservation system does not help much for those who are dying to try the breakfast here as reservations can only be made after 5pm, which implies that one is restricted to the dinner menu though the signature ricotta hotcakes is available all day.
To avoid the crazy queue, we arrived 15 minutes prior to the opening hour at 8.30pm to join the train of early birds who formed a line snaking the staircase leading to the restaurant (Bills is the only restaurant at 7F). Fortunately, we were guided to our seats within minutes after 8.30am, compared to at least 45 minutes for Sarabeth Shinjuku.
The ricotta hotcakes (1400 yen) with fresh bananas rule the roost with its fluffiness and sharp eggy taste. Unsweetened on their own, they are probably the best pancakes I've had so far as they are thick but not doughy, perfect for dunking into the maple syrup and smothering with the unique honeycomb butter. No wonder it has been hailed as the best breakfast in the world but I doubt it is the only place where one can enjoy similar pancakes.
But the full Aussie breakfast (1800 yen) was also an instant winner with its amazingly executed scrambled eggs. The egg puddle was glowing in a shiny pale yellow, and each bite was unbelievably refined--creamy, smooth with light firmness. It's a huge platter that with toast, bacon, roast tomato, pork and fennel sausage and miso mushrooms.
Besides the two obligatory Bills item, there were interesting items on the menu that perked my curiosity. I thought the brown rice and sweet miso porridge, coconut yoghurt and mango 800 yen was some Japanese style breakfast but it turned out otherwise. Not so much like a porridge but moist sticky rice that still holds a firm bite with coconut allure.
Similarly the chilli fried egg, bacon, rocket, spiced mango chutney and brioche roll (1100 yen) turned out to be a burger. If one is bored with the usual pancakes or egg benedicts, I would recommend this because the sauce has a nice chilli curry flavour that complemented the crispy bacon and the semi cooked sunny side egg. At least it is not as heavy as the typical meat-loaded hamburgers.
I was surprised when the Bills hot chocolate (700 yen) arrived because it is predominantly white in colour. But the drink was delicious after mixing the thick Valrhona cocoa paste at the bottom. Not creamy but comforting.
We visited on a weekday and had a truly enjoyable breakfast in the modern yet spacious setting even though the restaurant was full. Nothing too rush nor too hectic. This is how I like my breakfast to be.
7F, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, 4-30-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Daily, 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m. (last order 10 p.m.)
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