A bite-sized post today about Kipferl, a little Austrian joint that I've fallen in love recently. Located in Camden Passage, just off Islington's Upper Street, it's got a faint air of après-ski about it, with touches like antique skis propped up in the corner and chalet-like wood panelling throughout. You can pop in to grab a coffee to take away, some Austrian items from the delicatessen or a quick lunch, as we did.
When I crossed the threshold of Kipferl, I was in the mother of bad moods. Meeting up for brunch at Angel, Alex and I found ourselves unable to get into either of the places I'd been wanting to try out, The Breakfast Club and The Elk In The Woods. In Islington, you have to don boxing gloves if you want to get into any of the hot brunch places, apparently. Forced to cross the narrow passage and get in line at Kipferl, I grumped my way through the twenty minute wait. Poor Alex. But luckily, the Austrian food more than soothed my surly outlook.
Alex ordered his favourite, French toast. Accompanied by homemade apple compote, cinnamon and fresh berries, it looked extremely inviting and I immediately wanted a bite. I've since decided that apple compote, cinnamon and sugary French toast are a total match made in heaven.
Upon sitting down and opening the menu, I pinpointed the source of my temper, and it was a hangry one. When a glistening Kasekrainer with sliced rye bread and mustard arrived in front of me, I knew I'd made the right choice. In a hangry situation, sugar tends to exacerbate my bad mood, and I needed something savoury. An incredibly juicy, hearty wurst stuffed with melting cheese was just the ticket. (Rewind to five years ago and I'd be sniggering at the sentence I just typed. Definitely not sniggering now or anything.) I know the shot above is badly focused - I blame hangry brain - but the limelight should definitely be on that sausage-shaped bad boy on the left. Although... I did sprinkle one of my Kasekrainer slices liberally with the contents of the bowl closest to me on the right, thinking it was Emmental or something equally benign. Turned out it was grated horseradish. *slow clap for Tamsin*
We also ordered a plate of steaming pierogis to share. Yup, the hangry monster needed more than one savoury dish. I've been joshing for a taste of these Polish dumplings for quite some time, being obsessed with their Chinese cousins. My verdict? Tasty, but I think I might prefer the Asian incarnations, if only by a hair. The accompanying rocket salad, meanwhile, was very welcome at a table groaning with delicious sugar and fat...
I came away feeling relaxed, full and happy - much to the long-suffering Alex's relief.
Kipferl's website tells me that they still regard themselves as a 'Geheimtip' - a little secret. Well, with a twenty-minute brunch queue, I doubt this little gem is a secret. And if it is by London standards, it won't be secret much longer. I for one plan on returning to sample another twist on an Asian favourite - Kasespatzle, or pan-fried egg noodles topped with organic mountain cheese. Looks like I'm an Austrian food convert.