Will its perplexing name result in an equally perplexing experience, or does the food do all the straight-talking? I’m whisked away for a night at the Sticky Walnut and sample a menu not intended for the carb-shy.
The first time I tried to visit Sticky Walnut for lunch, happening upon it during an exploration of Hoole, I was told there weren’t any tables, for the rest of the day. I immediately felt like I was back in London, queuing up at the latest, randomly named place, waiting for food that could never live up to the hype.
It quickly became apparent however, when I quizzed the locals, that it’s a firm favourite for special occasions. It’s where you take the people you really like, to celebrate their birthdays. It’s where you try to take your family when they visit, knowing it’s guaranteed to impress. But one things for sure, you better book early.
It’s definitely become one of my go-to ‘fancy’ places, for the soft, candle lit space, extensive wine list and magical things they do to home-cooked dishes. It’s not the kind of restaurant you’d think to take your Converse to. At the same time the staff are always welcoming and friendly (I’m sure – no matter what you wear on your feet).
Sure it’s pricey at TSW (unless you target their Early Dinner Menu – a real bargain at £18 for three delicious courses and a glass of wine). But it’s a dead cert every time – beautifully prepared food in a romantic settling.
Unlike what you’d expect, they don’t push bottled water on you either, but lead with the assumption that you’ll be good with tap (I will, every time). The cocktails are cheaper than you’d think too – ranging from £5-£7.50, but if you want to get your hand on a bottle of wine prices start at £19 (all the way to £135 if you want a Magnum of Allegrini, ‘Amarone’, Valpolicella Classico, Veneto, Italy).
I always treat myself to the chicken liver pate, and probably over-did it this time filling up on bread before I’d even started my main (the focaccia here is rich, salty and freshly baked). I was so full that I could only briefly indulge the idea of dessert – knowing that it’s one of the highlights here. With descriptions like ‘black cardamom doughnuts’, ‘pistachio, peanuts, grilled pineapple and pineapple sorbet’ and my favourite, ‘honeycomb ice cream’, it was a tough call.
Top Tips – Book an early table to save. Lunch is an another steal at two courses for £16. Feeding the kids won’t break the bank either with mains and puddings for them starting at £3.50. As soon as you know you want to eat here, get that reservation in. Seriously, snap snap.