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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 crispy duck hearts with pickled shimeji mushrooms, wild garlic and silver skin onion or butter-braised skate wing with caramelised cauliflower, yoghurt and sunflower-seed crisp. Some meaty mains are a tad more conventional (think chateaubriand with cauliflower cheese and red wine sauce), while eclectic desserts might include spiced coconut rice pudding with poached pineapple and sugared hazelnuts. The food is complemented by some intriguing world beers, trendy aperitifs and plenty of wines with gentle mark-ups.
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