While I must admit Epsom is no Ponsonby, it has recently become a gastronomic hub. Think KK Malaysian, Bowz, Me Ne Frego and One Tree Grill—just to name a few. There’s always room for one more and this is where Little Jimmy comes in.
Sitting pretty on the corner of Manukau and Empire Roads, Little Jimmy is the newest kid on the block. The old Fairytales building has transformed into a part-restaurant, part-bar after having a snazzy, modern fit-out with old-school twists. Owned by Guy and Sarah Malyon of One Tree Grill, the new eatery is ‘little brother’ to the upmarket restaurant.
“Who is Jimmy?” I ask our waitress with curiosity. I’m told that, much like Santa, ‘Jimmy’ doesn’t exist. Instead, Jimmy represents the little guy. In this case, Jimmy is the small Kiwi businesses trying to make their mark. You won’t find food or drink from any large, big guns here—just top notch products made in this fine country of ours.
The eatery was bustling when my partner and I visited on a recent Wednesday night. We’d been denied a table for the previous Tuesday—apparently the restaurant has been going gangbusters since they opened just over a month ago.
We both tore our hair out as we eyed up the menu—it all sounded so good! Opt for a sharing board or try Jimmy’s sourdough pizza? Decisions, decisions! We settled on sharing a selection of dishes from their smaller and larger plates menu.
When our first dish came—deep fried pork croquets served with kimchi and pickled cucumber—we knew we were in for a tasty night. The trio of croquets were perfectly crispy on the outside and stuffed with succulent pork.
Second up was a trevally dish that took inspo from both ceviche and curry. The raw fish was served in a broth infused with flavours of coconut and lime, with chilli providing a welcomed kick. It was fresh, flavoursome and arguably the best dish of the night.
This was followed by a serve of Angus beef sliders, stacked high with bacon, Gruyere cheese and caramelised onion. Oozing with cheesy, saucy goodness, they’re one of best sliders I’ve ever had.
Feeling full, we tackled our main—roasted chicken served with bacon bread and butter pudding. I had to outsource most of the eating to my partner—I need to save belly space for dessert #priorities.
Their chocolate tart made with Donovans choccy had my name written all over it. Richer than Richie Rich, it’s not for the faint-hearted. My partner was forced to tap out after one spoonful. More for me, right?
Little Jimmy is also open for breakfast and lunch. And, in the words of Arnold, it’s safe to say “I’ll be back”. Thanks for making Epsom rad, Little Jimmy.This suburb really IS the place to be.
Want to know the location, opening hours and all the deets? Find Little Jimmy in the Directory.
Image credit: Little Jimmy