Restaurant Review: Timmy Green, Victoria in London
The first thing I notice, walking into Timmy Green, are the inverted cacti planted on the ceiling – a sly nod, perhaps, to the restaurant’s Australian heritage; after all, if people once assumed that people in the Antipodes walked upside down, then perhaps their plants grew the same way?
In any case, there’s an unmistakably Australian feel to the place, with that seamless indoor/outdoor flow achieved by floor to ceiling glass walls, natural timbers and profusions of greenery in unexpected places. It’s a dark and cold evening in London; inside, it’s all warm welcomes and easy intimacy. Give or take a black cab or two outside, I could be in Bondi.
Timmy Green is one of the Daisy Green family, which launched in London in 2012 and now comprises seven different locations across the capital – each one unique, but with the common theme of Australian food and coffee culture. Situated in the glossy new Nova development, just a few minutes’ walk from Victoria Station, this member of the family is surrounded by upscale and dynamic eateries like Shake Shack, Hai Cenato and Aster. The whole area buzzes; it’s vibrant, energetic and bold.
Having visited for brunch a month or so ago, I’m curious to see how Timmy Green’s effortlessly cool cafe-style setting translates into an evening destination and, sure enough, the vibe is completely different. It’s not just the dark evening pressing against the glass walls, but the low candles flickering on tables, plus relaxed diners looking like they’re settled in for a good few hours, talking easily and unhurriedly over generous portions and bottles of wine, rather than getting set for a busy day over (similarly generous) plates of shakshouka, broccoli and corn fritters with avocado, or coconut bread French toast.
The tables are placed close enough together that you can have a good old nosey at what other people are ordering; the unmistakable smell of calamari wafts to me from the table next to us, and is shared by two women who barely stop laughing all night, in turn making me smile, because it’s so nice to see people genuinely having such a good time. Our mains, when they arrive, are inspected by the group on our other side, with audible decisions to follow suit. There’s a nice camaraderie about it; again, it ‘feels’ very Australian.
We start with a cocktail; an Old Fashioned for him (which he pronounces ‘superb’) and a Raspberry Sour for me. The service is charming and attentive, but 100% perceptive: when we’re asked if we want to order, we confess that we haven’t even looked at the menu and then we’re left alone for a decent amount of time to just enjoy our drinks. Several times I notice our waiter glance at our table, recognise that we are still deep in conversation, and leave us to it. Bliss.
Our starters, when we eventually decide upon them, are a sound mix of virtuous vegan and dedicated carnivore, with sharing on the agenda: a plate of Aussie barbecue lamb cutlets with house chilli pesto accompanied by Byron bhel puri, a sensation of flavours and textures compromising crispy chickpeas, black rice, avocado, pomegranate, peanuts and sweet and spicy tamarind. One of us (not me) shamelessly runs his finger over the plates before they’re cleared, to soak up every last skerrick of flavour: it’s that good.
The giant chicken parmigiana on the sharing menu is tempting, as is the prime rack of lamb – but rare-breed, dry aged beef cooked on a custom-made Josper charcoal grill, which keeps natural moisture and flavour within the meat … I mean, they had me at ‘rare breed’. We both opt for the hefty (400g) 60 day Ribeye, which comes with duck fat fries (these are absurdly good) and truffle mushrooms. Our waiter offers to bring back the (predominantly Australian) wine list – or would we just like him to bring us something? His unassuming warmth and ease has totally won our trust so we’re happy for him to select us a red and sure enough, his choice – a 2015 Yarra Valley Pinot Noir – is perfect. The steaks are sublime. We are two very happy drinkers and diners.
Truth be told, we’re too full for dessert (there’s a tiny morsel of steak left on my plate, which I eye sadly before admitting that yes, I’m done) but then someone (yep, it’s that lovely waiter again) mentions a Melbourne Mars Bar cheesecake ball, and our meat-glazed eyes are instantly reignited with a greedy sparkle. Arriving on our table as chocolate bombs, we thwack the crispy outer with our spoons to get to the decadent gooey, creamy, caramelly goodness inside. Heavenly. I only (and again, sadly) manage a few bites of mine but a shadowy gauntlet was laid down when our waiter mentioned that he’s never been able to finish one so, across the table, a valiant effort is being made, which results in a clean plate. Well, this place has more than impressed us all night – it’s about time that at least one of us did something vaguely impressive in return.
Address: Timmy Green, 11 Sir Simon Milton Square, Victoria, London SW1E 5DJ
T: 020 3019 7404