Not to be confused with Little Jimmy Dickens, the adored and short-statured American country singer and maker of such hits as 'May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose', 'Hillbilly Fever' and 'I'm Little But I'm Loud',Little Jimmy Bar and Eatery is cut from a more upmarket cloth.
Little Jimmy is a welcome addition to the ever-increasing ranks of new bars and eateries in Auckland that strongly assert their non-pretentious nature while still pulling all the punches in terms of quality and experience – an institutional shift arguably pioneered by culinary great Al Brown only a handful of years ago, but one which we are all thankful for.
We sauntered into Little Jimmy's on a balmy weekday afternoon, instantly appreciative of the pretty monochromatic mosaic floor and strategically placed foliage framing the dark, modern furnishing. The place felt fresh – like a very cool, modern oasis.
Menu-wise, there are many carnivore-friendly offerings, including the delicious-sounding sweetcorn and bacon waffle ($19), veal schnitzel ($28) and the smoked venison meatball sub ($16). After an appropriate amount of umm-ing and ah-ing, we settled on the cured market fish with farro, olives, smoked tomatoes and garden herbs ($29) and the vegetarian baked breakfast, which came with a delightful selection of eggs, halloumi, spinach, butterbeans and spicy tomatoes ($18). The fish was decent, but the winning dish on the table was the vegetarian baked breakfast, which was beautifully, rustically presented and invoked with its smokey flavour the perfect taste accompaniment to Little Jimmy's Middle Eastern aesthetic vibe. We followed our lunch with two glorious slices of Donovans 70% chocolate tart with raspberry, thyme and creme fraiche ($13). The slices were a perfect, strong finish and absolutely antithetical to any desires to rush to get back to the office.
For those who work or live in the vicinity of Epsom and have been pining for a post-work cocktail bar or neat business lunch location, your patience has been rewarded.