Boopshi’s Schnitzel and Spritz
No matter how old you are, us Brits love to bawl with laughter at a good old-fashioned sausage joke. As I’m sitting in Boopshi’s on Windmill Street, I wonder if the Austrians have a similar affinity with Wiener jokes, or do they think those are the wurst kind? The owners of the hip new Austrian-themed restaurant have created a simple menu, focusing on two simple elements – schnitzels and spritzers, which happen to be my second and third favourite Austrian things beginning with ‘sch’ (just after Schwarzenegger, of course).
As expected of an establishment in this postcode, halfway between Tottenham Court Road and Goodge Street and within earshot of the media nucleus that is Charlotte Street, the food here is very good. Other restaurants who have adopted similar approaches to their food have ended up with sparse menus with limited variety rather than simple (a few burger places spring to mind, as does the M&S deli counter) but this isn’t the case here.
For mains, diners have the option of the rarely-seen schnitzel (the classic Wiener is highly recommended, although chicken and pork are also available if you’re slightly squeamish about rose veal), bashed out (by a suitably butch chef no doubt) before being coated in crispy breadcrumbs and cooked perfectly. Optional toppings are chicken and hen eggs, gravy (which is free and mandatory in this writer’s opinion) as well the more exotic capers and anchovies for an extra salty kick.
There’s also the option of Sausage (the bratwurst is extremely moreish – an aromatic grilled sausage with great texture that still manages to be perfectly succulent inside) and some more adventurous dishes which include ox tongue, lentils, carrots and horseradish and smoked eel, bitter leaves, bacon, quails eggs. The Austrian cold meat board is the ideal sharing platter, with a well-balanced selection of cheese, speck and other cured meats served with slices of rye bread.
Some of the more familiar side dishes include Austrian classics such as Sauerkraut, Potato salad and Frites, which are perfect for snacking on with one of Boopshi’s refreshing spritz cocktails in hand. The Prosecco-based spritzes are light and fruity, and the bar also has a reasonably priced DOC Prosecco on tap in true European fashion.
Desserts were a bit anticlimactic, but decent nonetheless. The Crumble Cake had a good hit of cinnamon, although slightly overpowered by the abundance of honey and was slightly dry and too dense. A Chocolate Sachertorte, on the other hand, was decadently rich whilst still being perfectly fluffy and light enough to not feel coma-inducing.
A nice change from the usual W1 fare, Boopshi’s provides a great modern setting for reasonably priced and well-made classic Germanic grub. Embrace the simple home-cooking style food and enamel plates and visit Boopshi’s before the hipsters settle in.
Boopshi’s Schnitzel & Spritz: 50/60
To book a table at Boophsi’s Schnitzel & Spritz, 31 Windmill Street, London W1T 2JN, please call 0203 205 0072 or for further information visit here.