“ Address: 1a Phillimore Gardens / Kensington / London W8 7QG / England „
On a recent trip to London we decided that we would research some places to eat before we went, so we didn't end up aimlessly looking for ages, then ending up with somewhere not so good! After reading some really good reviews, we decided that on our first day we would go to Bill Wyman's Sticky Fingers at the night time...
After a very hot and quite tiring day walking round London, we successfully found our way from our hotel in Westminster to the Kensington tube station. From there, it was relatively simple to find the restaurant as you just followed your way along the high street, where it was just off it, and not too hard to miss. It is owned by Bill Wyman who used to be in the Rolling Stones, apparently he often comes in and dines amongst the customers - I'm pretty sure I saw him sitting a few tables across from us, but obviously had no way of checking, and didn't want to ask!
There is plenty of tables of varying sizes, so there were some couples but there were also some big parties of 8 upwards. It had a very good atmosphere and seemed quite buzzing, it seems like it is a very popular destination both with the Kensington locals and visitors to London. I'm surprised I've not heard of it before as it seems like the less commercial version of Hard Rock cafe, in a good way!
The menu is extensive with lots of different sections that each have loads of variety in them , for example, sandwiches, fajitas, burgers, salads and lots more! For the full menu you can look on the stickyfingers website. However it is all quite safe food that you'll probably have had before, no Chinese or Indian here as it is American fare, so its a good place to take most people, even if they are fussy eaters the chefs will probably make alterations for you. They do have quite a few twists on well known dishes though.
As there is so many options to choose from on the menu, I was tempted by a lot of them and so spent a lot of time pondering over this decision. The staff gave us as much time as we wanted though and didn't try to rush us at all, which was definitely a good thing. While we were deciding what to have food wise, we looked over the drinks menu which was also quite long and varied! There was many different wines, beers, soft drinks and liquors but the best bit was the cocktails; some were named after rolling stones songs (paint it black was one), and some were just the classic cocktails that everyone knows such as long island iced tea. What I went for though was a non alcoholic cocktail, priced quite reasonably at just over £3 and it was very nice, there was quite a selection of these.
We decided that we didn't want starters although there were things on the menu that I would have had if we had been, especially the duck! While I went for a sandwich, everyone else in the party went for the famous burgers that they do, we didn't order any side orders as we had no idea what our portions would be like, but the people around us looked like they were getting a lot of food! When my main course I was definitely right not to order a starter as there was just so much there! I had ordered a New York deli sandwich and I wasn't disappointed at all with my choice! The sandwich had so many different layers in it, it started with a bun then had a load of salad in which I ended up picking out as I was too full, then there were thick slices of Monterey cheese, then thick succulent slices of turkey breast and before the top bit of the bun there were thick slices of pastrami that had very nice spices around the edges. I couldn't actually put the whole thing in my mouth at once as it was so tall with all the stuff in so ended up eating it bit by bit, and it was one of the nicest sandwiches ever! It was served with some really nice chips and salad, and I requested some mayonnaise to go with my chips, this was brought over straight away in a little pot. I did end up leaving a bit of this, and in fact took some turkey back to the hotel to eat later! This might be to do with that we dined at 7pm, if we'd went later when I was hungrier maybe I'd be able to do a starter and main course! This sandwich is unfortunately not on the menu anymore as far as I can see, but when we went it was Monday madness which meant that my sandwich was 40% off and around £6.50 which I thought was a very good price. There was a dessert menu and I was tempted by the smores, but decided I would just have to get them if we ever came back!
Overall I was very impressed with stickyfingers and next time I'm in London I'll have to be making a return trip there and trying some new things!
I visited Sticky Fingers with my boyfriend for his birthday last month. He is a big Rolling Stones fan and I knew it was on his list of 'must dos.' The fact that I was dying to go too was a factor too of course! Needless to say neither of us were disappointed and if you're a Stones fan or just have a healthy appetite it's a great place to spend an evening.
For those of you who are not aquainted with Sticky Fingers, it's a restaurant located at Phillamore Gardens, just off High Street Kensington in London and owned by Ex Rolling Stone, Bill Wyman. Apparently, he often visits the establishment and lucky diners might find themselves sitting on the next table to him. Alas we were not so lucky the night we visited. Opened in 1989, the place is a mecca to Stones fans as every inch of the walls is adorned with memorabilia from signed guitars to tour posters from gigs all over the world, press cuttings, gold discs, signed photographs and paintings. The food is American Diner style: Ribs, burgers, cocktails and shakes. Rolling Stones plays in the background and the service is fast and friendly, just as you would expect from a restaurant owned by a man who eaten in some of the best in the world.
From the name of the place and throughtout the menu the Stones theme carries on, not to the point where it's tacky though. Shots are all named after Stones songs. Fancy a Jumpin Jack Flash? No? Maybe a Paint It Black? We stuck to cocktails for our drinks, and were served as they should be, simply and tasted divine. My partner's trade is alcohol and he gets very annoyed when cocktails are tarted up and no served in the 'proper' glasses for the drink. Top marks from him for authenticity! I went for a gorgeously sour Margerita and followed it with a non alcoholic fruity medly which looked as good as it tasted with a gorgeous strawberry froth on the top. He opted for a Lynchberg Lemonade and a Moscow Mule. Sticky Fingers do classic cocktails well, we decided!
We visited on a Monday. It may have a been a birthday treat, but we are still in a credit crunch so I trotted in clutching my 2 for 1 voucher. Sticky Fingers is taking part in the South West Trains 2 for 1 on London Attractions scheme, and offers 2 for 1 on main meals when shown with valied voucher and train ticket. I was told by the waiter that I could not use it on a Monday as they have their 'Monday Madness' deal on where about 90% of the menu is discounted anyway. I felt this was fair enough as a large majority of the main course had 50% off them anyway.
After our cocktails much soaking up was needed! All the starters looked very tempting, but we opted for Crab Cakes for me and Chilli Potato Skins for him! As usual we swapsied a bit so we could try each others....(for reviewing purposes of course!) Both were delicious. The Crab cakes were beautifully cooked and very tasty and were served with a powerful garlic mayo that I pined for for days afterward! Andy's Chilli Skins were a little spicy for me but tasty none the less, they certainly didn't last very long, much as I told him to savour it! Starters, as with all the menu are generous and beautifully presented. In hindsight I perhaps would have opted for something a little lighter, or even shared as my stomach couldn't cope with the sheer quantity I tried to pack into it that night!
As I mentioned, mains had up to 50% off, this was mainly on the burgers. Typically we opted for the mains with the least discount, still 20% is 20%. 14oz Rib Eye Steak with Chips with Onion rings on the side for him, Ribs and Chicken combo with a side salad for me. Even though we had a mountain of food, I was thankful for that side salad. This is big hearty food, but diet food it ain't. I needed that greenery to freshen it all up a bit. Ribs are hit and miss generally, you get a bad one that's all fat and it'll put you off for ages. Get gorgeously juicy ones where the meat falls off the bone like they serve in Sticky Fingers and you crave them every time you think of them. It was the sort of meal my tummy couldn't finish but my eyes desperately wanted to as it's so good. The Steak, Andy said was cooked to perfection, but in his eyes, still mooing is his idea of perfection, I didn't try. Much as he liked it, the portion even defeated him and that's rare! (Geddit?)
The atmosphere is you would expect, is super cool and laid back. No one minds you meandering through the tables to have a look and the memorabilia. It really does attract all sorts, the fans who come just for being there, like us, the tourists who pop in for dinner after sightseeing (the table next door), and the kid's 12th Birthday party, which took over most of the back of the restaurant when we were there. Even the toilets are impressive, located at the front of the place, you go down quite a narrow staircase to get there. Even the walls of this are covered in press cuttings and photographs and the walls, ceilings and floor of the loos are mirrored! Feels very rock star and luxurious but I imagine a little disorientating if you'd had a few too many of those cocktails!
Service was good, we were served our drinks and starters in superfast time, but we got there early and our service slowed down a bit as the place started to fill up. This was fine as it gave us a chance to soak up the place, and we still weren't kept waiting too long. By the time we got to desserts (well coffees, we couldn't fit in puddings, yummy as they sounded!) the placed was heaving. Our waiter was the spit of Rafa Nadal and was sprinting round the place quicker than Nadal sprints round the court. The staff there really couldn't be working any harder but, however pressured, were polite and friendly. Clearly they enjoyed what they were doing and it made us as customers feel welcome. My pet hate is restaurant there are so formal you're scared to cough, here was as relaxed as you can get.
To get a little idea of the prices, I'll give you a sneaky peak of our bill, usually a private affair.. the things I do for dooyoo!
Margarita £3.25 (this was on 50% off)
Lynchburg Lemonade £3.25 (50% off)
Moscow Mule £3.25 (50% off)
Fruit Freeze £3.50
Crab Cakes £5.95
Chilli Skins £5.95
MAINS & SIDES
BBQ Combo £10.46 (this was with 20% off)
14oz Rib Eye £13.56 (20% off)
Rocket Salad £2.95
Onion Rings £2.95
Hot Chocolate £2.45
Irish Coffee £5.50
SERVICE @ 12.5% £7.88
I guess this is usually more than we usually pay for a meal for two out, but it was a birthday. For the quality of food and size of portions I think the pricing, even without discount is worth it. The fact that it's a themed restaurant and a tourist attraction in it's own right I think they could have charged more. For that reason I'm pleased with the pricing, even if I couldn't afford it everyday. Now knowing what it's like I would order less, I feel a lot of our £70 was wasted and I think you could have a perfectly filling meal if you cut the trimmings, for 1/2 the price. We did, after all choose the most expensive mains on the menu. Service at most places I've eaten is charged at 10% or is at the customers discression. I felt 12.5% was a little cheeky. Having said that, we couldn't have asked for better service and I think we got our money's worth there.
If you fancy Sticky Fingers I would urge you to book. I booked 4 weeks in advance, and while people were just turing up and getting seated it got extremely busy by the time we left and this was on a Monday!
Visit www.stickyfingers.co.uk for more infomation on booking and to look at the menus.
So I hear you cry was there a bad part? Well yes, one. As with all good tourist attractions, there's merchandise. My other half really wanted a little reminder of the trip but the stuff on offer was tacky and over priced. With all the great Stones merch out there, they could have done so much better than some over priced caps, mugs and T shirts with a tacky 'Sticky Fingers' logo printed on it.
I still give it 10/10 regardless of this small point. A must visit for Stones Fans and Foodies alike!
American style menu.