The Fresser

What's on the menu at new NW8 restaurant, Johnny Green

Investigating the latest chain to take up residence in the Wood


A few weeks ago, my husband and I visited Johnny, who has recently arrived in St John's Wood.

But Johnny Green is no a boy —  not even a man. It’s the name of the latest opening in the Daisy Green chain which has recently opened in St John’s Wood.

I was invited to visit the (non-kosher) restaurant, which is part of a small chain founded by Aussie expat, Prue Freeman and business partner Tom Onions in 2012. They started with vintage ice cream vans and tricycles and have, over the last 11 years, grown into 14 (soon to be 15) restaurants. The aim (it says in their blurb) is to bring ‘relaxed and buzzing Australian food and coffee culture to London’.

All the outlets include Green in their name, the NW8 opening is named not for the area (as I’d assumed) but after Prue’s dad. It sits on a corner site occupied most recently by The Gate and (some years ago) a branch of the now defunct, Delisserie. Tucked off the main drag down Allitsen Road, the unit has hosted a revolving door of restaurants.

The interior’s not hugely different from its last incarnation — light bright and airy. The menu also bears some similarities. Starters include a range of salads, some fried treats (including croquettes and haloumi fries) and roasted veggies; mains are divided between plant-based dishes, fish and meat and desserts range from sticky toffee pudding and cold brew tiramisu to a lighter BBQ pineapple.

We kicked off with a fig, chicory and blue cheese salad and a less saintly plate of halloumi fries on a schmear of lemon and mint yoghurt and showered with Insta-friendly pomegranate arils.

What Mr P’s main course vegan chorizo fried rice lacked in elegance it made up for with punchy flavour. My seared tuna on a white bean and avo puree was the fashion victim — accessorised with Barbie-forward ribbons of cute pink and white striped candy beetroot.

We shared a Mars bar cheesecake – maybe inspired by the planet rather than the bar as what arrived was deconstructed to a shiny chocolate-coated, cheesecake filled sphere on a pile of deeply dark, biscuit crumbs.

Our waiter — moonlighting from his day job as a kick boxer — was cheerfully efficient, although, he had plenty of time with the room being on the quiet side. Perhaps it’s early days as we shared the large room with only a few tables of families and couples.

It’s fresh and fun — I’d head back for lunch or brunch and expect the SJW fraternity will pop in for a latte-fuelled gossip or to and would be happy to have it as my local. The sort of place you’d pop to on a whim when you didn’t fancy cooking dinner.

Johnny Green


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