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31 Windmill Street
Schnitzels and spritz are the twin selling points at this family-owned restaurant, in the heart of Fitzrovia. Dreamed up by brothers Ed and Ben Robson, the new eatery is built around recipes handed down to the two guys by their Austrian grandparents – who apparently called each other ‘boopshi’ as a term of endearment. Food-wise, the menu has a strong
Austrian and central European slant with bratwurst sausages, ox tongue, spätzle and apple strudel all featuring alongside the signature schnitzels – prepared using top-grade rose veal, free-range
chicken or rare-breed pork. To drink, expect Viennese beers, house martinis made with Kümmel instead of vermouth and, of course, the spritzs themselves: the no. 5 version will mix London Dry gin,
apricot purée, homemade orange and lemon sherbet with Prosecco (also served on tap).
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31 Windmill Street
020 3205 0072
Goodge Street Tube Station 229m
Tottenham Court Road Tube Station 394m
Odeon Tottenham Court Road 120m
Contemporary Applied Arts 129m
Mon-Sat 12N-3.30pm 5.30-10pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
“Schnitzel and spritz” says the Boopshi tagline, and that's exactly what you'll get. Simple as. I love it and it's gone straight into my hallowed Tried And Tested list. This may have something to do with the second element: the heavenly spritz which is, in my opinion, the best in London. Sharp and sweet at the same time (is the humble OJ a secret ingredient?) and glugging around in huge ice-ridden goblets. I have to admit I have come to the spritz party in London a little late but I spent a year guzzling spritz which could knock you out at 20 paces from a little market-side bar in Padua so I feel qualified to judge. It also has a good deal to do with the first element, the schnitzel, which is similarly brilliant: lightly spiced, crumbly crumb with tender, juicy meat. I love that the menu only takes up a page, sticking to the Austrian theme with well-judged focus: I haven't seen sauerkraut on a menu in England for years, thank heavens, but the sight of gluvine and sachertorte is more welcome. As to the “theme” this place could so easily have strayed into pastiche but Boopshi is refreshing in steering away from retro vintage decor or contrived Hanoverian artifice: instead the walnut bar is a sleekly modern monolith, the walls are bare, large picture windows look out onto the street (although it is rather unappealing view of a building site at the moment so etched windows/frippery might be welcome), seating for the most part is at long shared bench tables. If it doesn't work out, they could paint over the front sign and turn it into a dim sum venue (I hope they don't). It is all so straightforward and simple without shoving your face in it or charging you through the nose for it, unlike the Tramsheds of this world. Our meal for two, with 2 drinks each, sides, shared pud and service was a very reasonable £75. A one-trick pony I would happily pay to see again.
You really wish the young team at Boopshi's well. There are still a few points to fine-tune on the culinary front, but the dishes which are already perfect really score very highly. It's a simple modern space and they offer very classic Austrian dishes at a very enticing price/value ratio: it feels a bit special, with a minimalist design that any diner could be forgiven for mistaking for it for Scandinavian – if you are either looking for a mock chalet or for a Viennese grand café, this is not what you will find here. However, it is very pleasant and very busy. The downstairs cocktail bar has massive potential and the overall wide young and happening. The concept at launch was ‘Schnitzel and Spritz’. The Apérol Spritz they serve is hands-down one of the best in town, the schnitzel is good, however will probably get better still over time.
Most people would struggle to identify many notable things about Austria, a country in central Europe with a population around the size of London whose most famous export is arguably Arnold Schwarzenegger. Against this background, onto the already-crowded London dining scene comes Boopshi’s, billed as a ‘Schintzel and Sprtiz’ experience. For the non-German speaking this simply means veal in breadcrumbs accompanied with sparkling wine – think of it perhaps as a continental version of the hot dogs and champagne offered by nearby Bubbledogs. However, there is no Alpine kitsch here at Boosphi’s, just a very minimalist look in terms of the décor with the main focus being on the food. It was indeed high quality and pretty authentic too (my grandparents came from this part of the world and so I have some ability to judge). The brothers who set Boopshi’s up also have their family origins in central Europe and it is evident both from the composition of the menu and the quality of the dishes that they have done their research, with clear attention to ingredients/ detail too. All the dishes are also priced competitively: £5-8 for starters, mains from £10 and sides at £2-3. Both my comrade and I opted for the Schnitzel, a piece of lean and juicy veal lightly fried and flavoured both by fresh lemon juice and the wonderful addition of a rich and creamy duck egg. We rated our sides too – spatzle (egg noodles) and sauerkraut (pickled cabbage). Sadly no room for the desserts, although they sounded tempting – apple strudel and chocolate tart (Sachertorte) among others. An Austrian style beer brewed locally in Camden was a nice additional touch. All in all, great comfort food (and drink), admittedly without the bracing Alpine air to work it off after.
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