Food and the city..the hags are here to eat and then tell you about it!

Sunday, April 02, 2006


1a Philimore Gardens, Kensington. London W8 7EG

Reservation telephone no: 0207 9385338

Website: Sticky Fingers

Average price: £25


We’ve been looking forward to eating at Sticky Fingers for ages. I’m always out for a luscious moist rack of ribs. For those who don’t know, Sticky Fingers is like Hard Rock café, Planet Hollywood etc. You know the type. American food joints set up by celebrities in the vain hope that their power clout will attract massive business and remain in our naïve hearts forever.

Sticky Finger’s first branch was set up in Kensington in 1971 by Bill Wyman, bassist of the Rolling Stones. A unique place to set up a glorified steak, rib and burger joint. Anyhow it worked.

It was everything I expected – from the ultra bright neon lights outside, to the memorabilia laden walls and large tables of patrons celebrating birthdays (brightly coloured balloons included), families with their screaming kids. 80’s music blasted into every orifice I owned. Not a place for a strategic meeting or for amorous mutterings. (Anyway, anyone bringing their first date here should be shot – under 10 years old exempted). The only time the music was stopped was to sing renditions of 'Happy Birthday' - and believe me, it happened a lot.

Surprisingly the music never touched on Rolling Stones. The staff were probably sick of it in the beginning. Most people are when forced to listen to the same music again and again and again.

The staff were predominantly cute overseas feminine talent wearing tight, short T-shirts. I have to say that service was great and prompt. Pity about the food though.

Their ribs are meant to be the stuff of legends. In reality, the Tennessee rye whiskey and house BBQ glazed ribs (£13.50) was disappointingly dry.
The chunky chips provided on the side reminded me of the chips you get from your local, nothing special, fish and chip joint down the road. (You know the ones. The chips that taste bloody fantastic when you’re inebriated and have the munchies at 4am but you wouldn’t touch ‘em with a barge pole with any ounce of sense in your head.) Don’t get me started on whatever they called that limp pile of cabbage they call ‘coleslaw’.

And it wasn’t just my plate that plummeted down and down in my charts. Two of my fellow diners had exactly the same thing and agreed with me. Oh, of special note. If you wanted a baked potato with your ribs instead of chips. Sorry. They only do mash. Huh? And don’t bother with the mash. It was lumpy and was laden with too much butter.

To be fair, I haven’t tried anything else on their menu to warrant me damning the whole restaurant to dark depths of ‘restaurant I will never venture back again’. I will definitely go back again on a Monday Madness Day. All main courses from the a la carte menu are half price! Of special interest to me is the Steak and Dagger – chargrilled 10oz sirloin and whole roasted lobster, handcut wedges and red wine jus (normally £32). I would be pretty hacked off if they had conveniently run out of the lobster forcing me to order something else.

I’ll keep you posted.



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