Sticky Sisters, Leeds – Restaurant Review
Sticky Sisters, Merrion Centre, Leeds
by Kerryn Duckworth
When you’re invited to go to Sticky Sisters, the first question that most people will undoubtedly ask is ‘What on Earth is that?’ The slightly questionable name raises eyebrows as to what type of establishment this could be. However, I’m pleased to report that this another of the seemingly never ending supply of new eateries at the Merrion Centre in Leeds.
Positioned on the North side of the shopping centre, next door to Burger King and adjacent to the First Direct Arena, Sticky Sisters lures us in with its vibrant and eye catching external branding and it’s colourful and glitzy interior. As we enter we’re greeted by booths, long communal tables, multi-coloured metal panelling and bright lighting displays around the room.
My friend and I take a booth and are given an introduction to the restaurant; Sticky Sisters is the brainchild of the Karali Group; the UK’s largest Burger King franchisee. The first branch of this new chain opened at the beginning of May this year, the diner specialises in its Red Tractor-certified chicken wings amongst other chicken favourites (all cooked fresh in house), milkshakes (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and vegetarian options for the non-chicken eaters.
“The wheel has spoken”
Considering the concept is chicken wings, the menu seems endless, with starters, wings, burgers, wraps and salads and all items available to takeaway for those on the move. For those first timers, recommendations from those in the know are always appreciated so we follow the advice of the management team. The first recommendation being the Shakes (£3.25), I go for the Strawberry flavour whereas my companion opts for the Brownie flavoured one. He wins. The chocolate flavour is rich and moreish and it’s finished off in minutes.
Despite the food being cooked fresh to order, the waiting time is short, which is beneficial for those who need their takeaway in a hurry. The food starts coming over, fresh and piping hot and I can’t wait to dig in. My friend and I pick a selection of chicken and sides to create two whole meals. But we share, mainly to prevent the food envy one of us would undoubtedly have. The Chicken Tenders (£4.95) are moist and crispy in equal measures. It’s clear the chicken is fresh and good quality.
The draw of Sticky Sisters is the sauces that you can choose on all of the items – numbered 1 to 25 from cool to medium-mild, to hot and then to ferocious. If you’re not quite sure, or are feeling very brave, a Sauce Wheel is presented on the wall. Like a wheel of fortune, the fate of the sauce is decided for you and the lighting wheel is spun to assist you. The wheel has spoken and we have the No.15 sauce; Jigglin’ Jalapeno to accompany the Tenders. Medium spice level, thankfully!
Alongside the Tenders we have to try the Chicken Wings with the No.12 Sticky Sisters Sauce (£4.95). We are advised to eat the wings in typical fashion, all in the mouth vertically then pull the bones out. It works. The chicken just slides off the bone and the sauce is sweet and spicy with a good heat.
The tenders and wings aren’t enough on their own and you need sides or fries too. We choose Sweet Potato Chips with Special Rub (£3.50), Onion Rings (£2.50) and Speciality Garlic Bread from the starter options (£4.75). After a few of the chips I don’t get a look in; my friend eats the rest of the bowl. They are good, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle with good flavour from the rub. As an onion ring connoisseur I know a good onion ring, and these are. Fresh onion in the middle, but crispy on the outside with the No. 3 Garlic sauce as the perfect dipping accompaniment. Unfortunately the only downfall is the garlic bread. Whilst the portion is incredibly generous for the value, the garlic is overshadowed by the caramelised onions; there is just too much.
As the shakes are finished so quickly, we wash everything down with some soft drinks (£1.75). Yes, you can have a Fanta, Sprite or Coca-Cola, OR you can create your perfect drink from the freestyle Coca-Cola machine, which allows 100’s of combinations of drinks and flavours.
“Bright, vibrant and relaxed”
With no space left for food and with time against us we don’t have a dessert at the table. Instead we try the takeaway element in the form of the Glazed Mini Doughnuts (£3.75). I’m not sure how well soft ice cream will transport in 30 degree heat but I’m willing to give it a go! The doughnuts are dripping in vanilla icing and fresh out the oven.
As Monday lunchtimes go, this is a good one. As I can appreciate, Monday lunchtime is never going to be its busiest hour but a few tables are occupied nonetheless. However I’m sure that on any given might when the Arena houses any entertainment, the place will be heaving and I can imagine the younger generation all lining up to get a chicken fix prior to heading in to watch some music; it’s got a perfect location.
What makes this eatery different is, it’s fun. It doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, it’s bright, it’s vibrant and relaxed. The sauce wheel will no doubt entice me in again, I can only hope I don’t end up on No. 25.
Sticky Sisters, Unit 7, Merrion Centre, 11 Merrion Way, Leeds, LS2 8BT
01132 443 684