Funky young chef (and crowd-funding success story several times over) 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. Readers can’t get enough of the place, praising Sticky Walnut’s “great quality food” as well as its “good service”.
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 crispy pig’s head terrine with caramelised apple and barbecue sauce or salt baked turnip with Gouda mousse, maple butter, lemon herb crumb and wild garlic.
Some meaty mains are a tad more conventional (think a sharing dish of aged sirloin on the bone in red wine sauce and with a side of truffle and parmesan chips), while eclectic desserts might include baked pineapple and white chocolate cheesecake with poached pineapple and lime sorbet, or perhaps dark chocolate mousse with peanut brittle and banana ice cream. The food is complemented by some intriguing world beers, trendy aperitifs and plenty of wines with gentle mark-ups.
Sticky Walnut is a true all-rounder of a restaurant, offering up a good value set menu and a hearty Sunday lunch offering, which features the likes of rolled and stuffed pork belly served alongside roast potatoes, carrot and swede, broccoli, and apple sauce. Mini foodies meanwhile can enjoy the kids menu, which is sophisticated without being alienating to little ones – think chicken schnitzel with potato wedges and peas, followed by tonka bean ice cream topped with warm chocolate sauce and honeycomb.