Update Summer 2016: Boopshi’s has now closed.
There are a lot of mid-twenty-teens new restaurant boxes being ticked at Boopshi’s on Windmill Street. 1. A small, relaxed and fun restaurant and casual bar, founded by two brothers. Tick. 2. Country specific cuisine, lightened a bit for modern life and presented without pretension. Tick. 3. Majoring in a fairly simple food stuff and cocktails – in this case, schnitzel and prosecco based spritzers. Tick. 4. Stripped back, unfussy interior, enamel plates and bowls. Tick. 5. Craft ale and prosecco on tap. Tick.
Happily, it doesn’t feel as though that ticking has been a cynical exercise: the two brothers’ Austrian heritage is genuine; and their focus has been to create a environment befitting their relaxed gastropub background and serve the food they remember from childhood holidays and family feasts, basically because they think it’s tasty.
There was enough on the menu to confirm their knowledge of Austrian food hasn’t just been garnered from a few boozy ski trips (as mine has). Frittaten (pancake) and beef consommé based soup and Kaiserschmarrn (more chopped up pancakes and fruit compote) sit alongside the more familiar and expected sauerkraut, spatzle and cheese, ox tongue and Sachertorte.
But, come on, the One Good Reason to tuck into Boopshi’s, the main reason I’ll go back, is for a schnitzel.
They’ve gone for the bash it out roughly, bread and deep fry option. Which is a good one: quick and consistent, unlike the pan frying alternative. I enjoyed having a choice of salty anchovies (oui), capers, hen or duck egg as toppings and of course there’s plenty of lemon to cut through the richness. That said, sides of sauerkraut and pickles to share are necessary too.
I’m most won over by their meat sourcing – organic, free range British rose veal (something we should all eat more of), rare breed pork, currently from their chef’s farm, and top end free range chicken. Deep fried, breaded meat is pretty much always moreish – that’s frying for you – but underneath all that crunch, it should still be about quality, high welfare reared meat.
Boopshi’s is fun and easy. One for the hungry and sociable, rather than high end fine diners. It’s not dirt cheap – hopefully that reflects those happy animals and maybe a few too many spritzers. It’ll become more interesting if they start making their own pickles and sauerkraut (both of which needed a lift), baking pretzels and doing take-away buns for the (surely massive) Charlotte St/Tottenham Court Road lunch market. For now, though, Boopshi’s is all about the schnitzel.
Boopshi’s, 31 Windmill Street, W1T 2JN.
One Good Reason
Well sourced, well breaded, well topped schnitzel. £10.50-14.50. Toppings and sides are extra.
Note: I was a guest of Boopshi’s when I ate at the restaurant.