Lady Barbara Judge discovers irresistible Austrian treats at Fischer’s – perfect for an indulgent Sunday feast…
Ever since I was one of the first people to eat breakfast at the Wolseley (if you don’t believe me, ask Jeremy King), I have loved the decor of the Corbin & King restaurants. I also love the fact that they are open all day, so an early dinner on a Sunday is both possible and pleasant.
Sunday, when you never really knew when you wanted to eat, used to be a real problem. Lunch ended at 3pm and dinner started at 6pm. If you had a hungry child at 4pm or 5pm, forget it. Then came the urban-influenced Wolseley and the Delaunay. Now, all-day dining and early dinners are de rigueur. So, when my foodie son and daughter-in-law alerted me to the opening of Fischer’s on Marylebone High Street, I was impatient for Sunday to arrive. With a friend from Houston, we arrived at Fischer’s at an early dinner hour. The advantage of this was that the restaurant was relatively quiet so that personal conversation was possible, although at about 7pm the noise level went up with the din of diners having a happy time.
The menu at Fischer’s is filled with Austrian treats, in which we definitely indulged. My choice of starter – sweet mustard herrings, which is just what the menu says: cured herrings with luxurious sweet mustard – was delicious, while my friend had the beetroot cured salmon. Both were perfectly light and lovely, and ideal choices to precede our more hearty mains.
My friend had the daily special of partridge with red cabbage – the traditional accompaniment for game at this time of year. It definitely lived up to the shooting season splendour that this country is all about. I, being indulgent, opted for the würstchen – or sausage, for those of you who are not Austrian. There are six distinct varieties on the menu and I chose two, as that is how they are served.
My choices were the Nuremberger bratwurst, which is pork with mustard and a relatively white colour, and the Käsekrainer, which is a darker colour and made of pork and garlic, and stuffed with emmental cheese. Can you think of anything more evil? These devilish delicacies are typically accompanied by potato salad, sauerkraut and caramelised onions, but trying to reduce the calorie intake, I asked our waiter to hold the potato salad and add more caramelised onions. This is, for me, among the best of vegetables, in that it tastes sweet, but doesn’t contain all the calories that the sweetness portends. Indeed, there was so much excellent but filling food, that even I, a self-confessed glutton when sausages are on the menu, could not finish my plateful of these serious sausages.
As ever, however, I managed to leave a bit of room for pudding, as dessert is a constant in my culinary adventures. Tonight’s offering was just perfect – vanilla and rum raisin ice cream served with caramel sauce and marshmallows. It was beautifully presented, as in a Viennese coffee house. I had wanted to sample some of Fischer’s pastries too, but my rapidly extending tummy indicated that resistance was now on the menu for me. Whereas usually ‘my eyes are bigger than my stomach’, as my mother used to say, I refrained since I already knew that it would not be long before I returned to Fischer’s. The pastries would lure me back, plus you are served in a beautiful room with enthusiastic and knowledgeable waitresses who are adept at offering helpful explanations and recommendations.
Bravo to the entire team at Fischer’s. This, for me, is yet another winner.
fischers.co.uk, 020 7466 5501
Lady Barbara Judge is currently the chairman of the Pension Protection Fund in the UK, and has held many posts across the corporate and charitable sector, including commissioner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority. Lady Barbara has always had an abiding love for food, and her frequent international business travels have enabled her to indulge this passion in many top restaurants across the globe. Lady Barbara Judge pays all of her own expenses.