A couple of weeks ago I turned 25. And as if I wasn’t already depressed about reaching my first quarter century, the birthday gods also decided to bless me with two accountancy exams on my birthday.
It would have been the worst birthday ever if my lovely boyfriend hadn’t booked us a table at the Simpsons x Sticky Walnut collaboration as a surprise (I say it was a surprise, but I accidentally ruined this one months ago by also booking us a table, forcing him to confess!).
Sticky Walnut is a neighbourhood bistro in Chester with a fistful of accolades & a brilliantly entertaining Twitter account (@stickywalnut). I have family in Cheshire so have wanted to eat there for a while, but Simpsons brought them to me – even better!
Simpsons is tucked away in a gorgeous building in Edgbaston. The décor is elegant and classy with beautiful design features – it’s the perfect setting to sit and enjoy a meal. Here’s me trying to look fancy and civilised..
For the evening, Sticky had put together a 5 course tasting menu. We started with some canapés; lamb tartare (with anchovies, linseed), salmon (squid ink, egg yolk) and calves brain (beef fat beetroot, walnut and verjus). They were all fantastic. The lamb and the salmon were perfect mouthfuls with amazing flavour and texture.
I have to admit I was a little bit terrified of the calves brain at first, especially because I’m not much of a beetroot fan either (probably due to bad school dinner flashbacks). But it turned out to be one of my favourite dishes of the night. It was full of flavour and I loved the crunchy exterior with the smooth, soft inside. It paired perfectly with the rich sweet beetroot – I think Sticky have managed to convert me into a fan! I also enjoyed the fact that it kind of looks like a chicken nugget..
The second course was wood pigeon, apple, morcilla & savoury granola. I love morcilla (it’s basically the Spanish version of black pudding) but usually just have it on the BBQ in Spain so it was great to try it combined with the rest of the ingredients. It looked beautiful and tasted even better.
Next up was halibut with romesco & gem lettuce. Every part of this dish tasted good but the romesco was incredible. If I hadn’t been trying to behave myself in Simpsons I definitely would have licked my plate clean..
Course number four was lamb rump, scichimi togarashi (a Japanese spice mix – I had to google it as well..), carrot, goats curd and burnt onion. The sauce was super rich, so the goats curd brought a nice freshness to the dish. One of my favourites of the evening.
Dessert was toasted porter, treacle, caramel and chocolate. It didn’t blow my mind but was a solid, tasty end to the meal. We went for the drinks flight with our meal & instead of wine, the dessert came with a chocolate & orange old fashioned. I’m not a big whiskey drinker but this was so good and I’d order it again in a heartbeat.
I had an amazing birthday evening & it more than made up for the fact that I am now officially closer to 30 than 20 (ugh). Big shout out to the boyfriend for treating me – sorry for ruining my surprise!