STICKY FINGERS KEEPS ROLLING
Michael Hepworth enjoys a change
from his normal diet of
truffled foie gras...
To survive in the restaurant business
for almost ten years is a sure sign
that things are being done right,
which appears to be the case with
Sticky Fingers, the brainchild of
former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman.
Clones of the 150 seater rock theme
restaurant in Kensington can also
be found in Cambridge and Manchester
and the whole operation shows no
sign of slowing down. The walls are
filled with Rolling Stones memorabilia
such as guitars, photographs and
concert posters, and just like the
Hard Rock Cafe, a thriving merchandising
setup keeps the cash registers busy.
It is naturally a tourist hangout
but it's often used for private celebrations
and music industry bashes. Wyman
himself pops by every three weeks
or so, and the word is that he was
not too happy about Babe Ruth's getting
the theme restaurant award last month
over his creation.
Executive chef David Needes offers
a good range of food on the menu
such as burgers, chicken, ribs,
sandwiches, steaks, fish and chilli.
The portions are generous and the
aptly named Beggars' Banquet at £10.95
features a tantalizing selection
of whole roast chicken, Ribs, Bar-B-Q
Chicken Wings, Cornchips, Salsa,
Guacamole, Salad, Garlic Bread
and lots of the restaurant's excellent
crispy fries. As I was with two
companions on a busy lunchtime
that generally only slows down
after 2 pm, we shared a starter
of Smoked Salmon Blinis (£4.95)
with buckwheat pancakes and creme
fraiche. Nice thick portions of
Nova Scotia salmon made this a
good selection and extremely good
The seating at Sticky Fingers
however is a bit of a downer being
far too cramped. The seats in the
booths were very close to the table
making access difficult, especially
for those unfortunates of ample
Next, I went for the Chargrilled
Burger (£7.45) served in a sesame
seed bun, fries and a crisp salad
with balsamic vinegar dressing
(there are six other dressings
to choose from). The meat was 100%
pure beef and tasted it, cooked
perfectly with the bun just right
and not too soggy. My two companions
opted for a Cajun Chicken sandwich
(£7.95) and a Caesar salad (£6.95).
The chicken came with alfalfa sprouts,
lettuce, tomato and red roasted
pepper mayo in a fresh baked ciabatta.
It certainly looked like a tasty
delight and there was also plenty
of it, although she felt that the
chicken was a little too dry. No
complaints however about the Caesar
salad which combined a crisp romaine
lettuce with classic parmesan cheese,
anchovies and garlic croutons.
We were all pretty full after
the main courses but were persuaded
to try the exotic sounding Funky
Banoffi Pie for dessert (£3.50).
Vanilla ice-cream, bananas, roasted
nuts, fresh cream on a biscuit
base with toffee and chocolate
sauce. It's amazing how widespread
banoffi has become ever since Nigel
Mackenzie claimed to have invented
it in his genteel Sussex restaurant,
The Hungry Monk, back in the Stone's
There was plenty to choose from
in the drinks department, with
cocktails priced at £4.95 and a
choice of about ten wines to select
from. The House wine is a Vin de
Pays de Comte Tolosan at £9.45
which comes in shades of red or
white. Bill Wyman's team is doing
a good job, even if the menu is
rather safe and unadventurous,
the quality and execution of the
food is OK. So, if you have never
been to Sticky Fingers then check
it out and have a pretty good time.
Sticky Fingers - 1A Phillimore Gardens, Kensington
London W8 7QG.
Tel 020 7938-5338
Fax 020 7937-7238
Opening Hours - Daily noon until 11.30pm (Sundays 11pm)
Happy Hour: 5pm-7pm weekdays.
12.5% service charge added to all bills (they call it a gratuity, which it can't
be because you've no choice - it's
added on! I think this is an example
of an oxymoron).
All major credit cards
No cigar smoking
Nearest tube-Kensington High st.
Parking-Meters outside restaurant 20p for eight minutes-limited space.
Hepworth May 1999