Catherine Pye visits Sticky Chops in the Miller Arcade
This place certainly lives up to its name.
With chicken wings, skewers, chops and racks of ribs on the menu, you’re going to need the complimentary finger bowls staff provide.
Nestling on the corner of the Miller Arcade, Sticky Chops is almost opposite the famous name it can most easily be compared to – Nandos.
The decor is bright and modern with bright green and purple walls, glass stairs, black marble tables and hair salon-style leather chairs.
There are countless pictures and musical symbols, but no hint that the place is owned by Fleetwood Town footballer Richie Allen.
Like Nandos it also has a selection of home-made sauces to choose from, including Cajun, Jamaican, teriyaki and piri-piri.
But one thing was quite different to Nandos – when my fiance Chris and I walked in at 1.30pm on a Saturday, the place was completely empty.
We didn’t know what this said about the food, but I can now tell you that it probably says more about the location and a lack of publicity.
The menu, which is a fast-food style, laminated affair, contains a meat-heavy selection of starters, sharers and mains. Desserts come separately.
Customers are invited to design their own dish, with different heat levels of meat, and separate sides.
Chris opted for a chicken wings starter (£2.20), followed by half a chicken (£5.80), coleslaw (£2.15) and chips (£2.15). He also ordered a latte (£2), but that had to go back twice because, frankly, it tasted just like brown water.
I decided against a starter, but for mains had four chicken wings in sticky chops sauce (£3.80), a corn on the cob (£2.15) and chips (£2.15). I had a diet Pepsi to drink (£2.15), which I thought was a bit steep, but I later found out it was refillable.
If we’re continuing the Nando’s comparison, then I think the food was much better.
The meat was fresh, tender and the flavours packed a punch.
The corn on the cob was huge and chargrilled to perfection, but could have done with a bit of butter.
Little teething problems let the experience down though.
The coffee, as I’ve mentioned, was undrinkable, and put down to a faulty machine. To be fair, the cost was wiped off the bill.
Another annoyance was the table we first chose was underneath a wall-mounted heater that was blasting very hot air into our faces, but leaving the rest of the room a little chilly.
When we moved, the table was so wobbly, I was scared to put any weight on it for fear of my drink somersaulting on to the floor.
And when we asked the waitress how big the meals were, and whether we should order more than one meat course, she replied that she “didn’t have a clue”.
Overall, if the small problems are overcome, this can be a cracking place.
Preston needs to get behind this restaurant.