Situated on a busy little street just outside of Chester City Centre in Hoole, Sticky Walnut claims to offer “fresh rustic food that lets the ingredients do the talking.” Looking for a great lunch spot, we decided to check it out. With owner and head chef Gary Usher at the helm (credentials include The Chester Grosvenor and Jamie’s Italian amongst others), Sticky Walnut certainly looked very inviting.
We were welcomed and seated at a lovely table next to the window which offered a great view of the street and plenty of people watching opportunities! The lunch menu offered a good selection of starters, mains and desserts. Drinks orders were taken promptly and we ordered the Toasted Focaccia with Salsa Verde to nibble on while we waited for our food.
The focaccia was warm, crispy and the perfect texture. The salsa verde was the perfect accompaniment, soaking into the bread and immediately taking care of those hunger pangs! We had a few questions about the menu which the waitress answered knowledgeably and was very accommodating when one of us decided to have a starter and a side dish instead of a main course (even offering to adapt the starter to the size of a main course if required).
A starter sized portion of Roast Grape and Goats Cheese Bruschetta with walnuts and honey (I decided not to be greedy and up it to a main sized portion!) arrived, the creamy, warm goats cheese and crispy bruschetta perfectly accompanied by the walnuts and honey. The honey offered a delightfully sweet edge to the dish but personally I found the grapes a bit too tart for my personal taste.
To accompany this super starter were the Hand Cut Truffle and Parmesan Chips. Piping hot, crispy on the outside, super soft and fluffy on the inside, with a gloriously rich and creamy truffle and parmesan coating, these were the best chips I’ve had in a long time!
The Chicken Schnitzel with fried duck egg, anchovies and capers was a very generous portion. Chicken coated in golden breadcrumbs with a superbly cooked, runny duck egg proved very tasty although very filling and definitey didn’t need the extra side dish we almost ordered!
By this point, we were way too full for dessert but decided to finish off the meal with a good old cuppa! We also finished off the complimentary mint flavoured water which was provided on all of the tables.
Sticky Walnut provided the perfect spot for lunch. The only criticism I would give is that our food arrived almost immediately after our bread so we didn’t have time to eat that first, we had to eat everything together. It would have been nice to nibble on the bread with our drinks and then receive our food. But that is only a minor point and would in no way prevent us from returning.
The food was fresh, rustic and presented beautifully. Highly recommended.