02 June 2011
There is a rusty trail across my keyboard. Oval fingerprints for dendrochronology punched on selected keys. Chestnut colouring from my grubby fingers. It’s the Hickory marinade from a devoured carcass. The sweet lubricant of a meaty feast that has left me with sticky fingers.
Bill Wyman’s Sticky Fingers – opened in 1989 – in Kensington is packed with rock and roll memorabilia, and during my visit – the October half term – parents and their darling children (with names like Camilla, Beatrice, Charles and Walter). The former Rolling Stone bringing a portion of American diner to a West London backstreet. Think Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Café, but with strictly Stones paintings, pictures and platinum albums.
The menu is a sticky American banquet. There is the obvious: Buffalo Wings, Beef Chilli Potato Skins, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich and Smoked Chicken Cob. There are three steak options: Sirloin 10oz (£15.95), Ribye 14oz (£16.95) and an 8oz Fillet (£17.95) – + £4.95 for three Tiger prawns, adding, “Surf to your Turf”. Chargrilled British beef burgers, the classic, and award winning, Sticky Fingers Burger priced at £9.45, all looked stacked with ingredients and appetising. The Sticky Fingers Burger arrived with lettuce, tomato and fries on a long, clean white plate. Reports from my partner were good.
My Hickory Smoked Ribs (smothered in bbq sauce – St. Louis style! I should know, I lived there! Not as good as Kansas City style bbq and the famous KC Masterpiece), was again served on a long, clean white plate, with my choice of sides: mash and onion rings. The mash was clumpy and unimpressive, but was far from being the main event, which lay across my plate. The vertebrate anatomy.
Did you know that humans have 24 ribs (12 pairs)? This means I was tackling half a human ribcage on my own. Well, meaty baby back ribs from a full-flavoured beast.
For those of a more sensitive nature – thanks for sticking with me – there is Pan Roasted Fillet of Sea Bass (£13.95) and Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli (£9.95), but frankly, if ploughing your way through a marinated carcass in rigamortis is not for you, then you really shouldn’t be here anyway.
Two (or five) glasses of Rioja Crianza, 2005 (£7.60 a glass) delivered spice with supple tannins, from a rounded list containing some of my best-loved reds.
Dare to share the dessert? Not me. The Table-side Campfire is well priced at £4.95 and includes toasted marshmallows, Oreo cookies, fresh strawberries and chocolate fondue. A romantic sharer. Not today. It was the $10 shake for my companion. But we’re in the UK, so cost £5. Vanilla and Jack Daniels (aka Keith Richards!). A tasty round off.
NOTE: Sticky Fingers is the ninth studio album by The Rolling Stones, released in April 1971.