SquareMeal Review of
Funky young chef (and master of crowd-funding) Gary Usher has done a terrific job here, turning the Sticky Walnut into a brilliant local bistro that receives top marks for consistency, value and quality. Gary’s upbeat, sparky cooking matches the restaurant’s offbeat vibe with a succession of creative ideas amalgamating influences from the Med and beyond – all served at very reasonable prices. The eponymous ‘sticky walnuts’ might appear in a roast beetroot salad with spiced pumpkin seeds and ricotta, but he doesn’t overplay the ‘nutty’ theme, preferring to channel his energies into intriguing dishes such as cured sea trout with pea and avocado salsa or roast cod in tomato broth with borlotti beans, parsley and garlic butter. Meat riffs sound a tad more conventional (think chateaubriand or free-range chicken breast with mushroom purée and grilled baby gem), while desserts might include wacky ideas like black cardamom doughnuts with pistachio, peanuts and grilled pineapple. The food is complemented by some intriguing world beers, trendy aperitifs and plenty of wines with gentle mark-ups. In short, “perfect cuisine from someone who really cares about what he does”.