Tuesday 31 March 2015

Restaurant Review: Kipferl, Islington

There’s a little street in Islington called Camden Passage which has lots of lovely little cafes and shops, and sometimes a market selling everything from antiques to jewellery. I spent a work day with an agency we use not far from there and my colleague and I decided to go out for a quick lunch somewhere a bit different to what’s on offer near our usual base in the City. He spotted Kipferl, a Viennese café, and as we have both been to Vienna we were keen to try it.
Kipferl started out as a delicatessen, run by Austrian Christian Malnig, and has expanded to two full cafes (the other one in Kensington). It prides itself on being a proper Viennese coffeehouse, where you can sit with a coffee and read the newspaper for hours without being hassled to buy anything else. The man at the next table was working on his laptop (and eating lunch) but I overheard him say he pretty much rented that table to work at!
As well as proper Austrian cakes like Sachertorte there are both small and large dishes suitable for lunch and dinner (they also do breakfast). I was tempted by a Wienerschnitzel but decided I wanted a smaller dish at lunch, though still something Austrian. I chose the sausage and sauerkraut, which offered a choice of sausages – a pair of Wieners or Debreziners, or one cheese-stuffed Kaesekrainer, which sounded delicious – and it was. The sauerkraut was perfect – probably an acquired taste but having lived in Germany in my teens and 20s I love the taste of the pickled cabbage. It also came with some rye bread, which unfortunately I found very dry (I know it’s supposed to be but I’ve had much better), plus little pots of mustard and freshly grated horseradish, and some pickles. I’ve never had fresh horseradish, though I love horseradish sauce; on it’s own it is a bit strange and I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to do with it – sprinkle it on the sausage, or eat it by itself?
My colleague had a similar dish but with the two Wiener sausages and salad instead of sauerkraut; they were each priced around £6-£7 and made a pretty filling lunch.
If you’re looking for something a bit different to the usual sandwich and want a friendly, relaxed café where you can while away the afternoon (though in our case we went straight back to work) then you could do far wurst.

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