Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Places To Eat In London: Boopshi's, Fitzrovia [Now Closed]

I've probably said this before, but I'm not really bothered about going to restaurants the moment they open. I like to do things at my own pace. However, sitting in a bar with a load of people who work in politics rather than food on Friday night and people exclaiming that I review restaurants, yet I have not been to such and such a place, I realised that I could sometimes try to be a bit more on the ball. Luckily for me I was able to redeem myself by recommending where I'd had lunch that day; Boopshi's, an Austrian Schnitzel and Spritzers place that opened in November (so being three months late to the party is improvement for me!) in Fitzrovia.
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Now, anyone who has ever been to a place that is supposed to do good cocktails, or god forbid an actual cocktail bar will tell you that I am stupidly indecisive. I just can't make up my mind. And then when I do choose, I always worry about pronouncing things wrong. Unless it is French the chances are, if I guess on how to pronounce something I will embarrass myself. Anyway, I digress. The cocktail menu at Boopshi's is perfect for me, because choice is rather reduced; there is just a choice of 6 Spritzers, and to make things even easier for me they are named by their number. Frankly they all look delicious, and I would have still had no idea what to choose, and despite everyone on Twitter telling me that I should just order one of each, I went with Rose's recommendation of a #6, because she'd reviewed the place a few days before I ate there.
So the Spritzers at Boopshi's are potent. My blend of Kirsch, Pear & Strawberry, Sherbet, and Prosecco was perfectly balanced, but still sweet and I will admit to having two of these. I was going to try something else, but that is what a return trip is for, right?
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I was dining with Alessandra, a SoCal girl living in London, so we had a good gossip about how much we hate the English weather compared to what we are used to in California, and about all the stores we miss. She writes a great blog with some fantastic London restaurant reviews, so you really ought to head over there for more recommendations. Also, watch this space; she has some big foodie plans in London for the future.
We decided to get a schnitzel, another dish and a side all to share. Again on Rose's recommendation we went for the rare breed pork schnitzel which was sweet and succulent. Probably the best schnitzel I've had in London. I chose the toppings of capers and anchovies (two of my favourites, you will always find them in my fridge without fail) and they went together perfectly.
We did really well at Boopshi's out of recommendations. My friend Wilkes, who is a bit of a Twitter and Instagram king of the London food scene, when I asked him for Boopshi's recommendations sent me an Instragram he took when it first opened of their Smoked Eel, Bitter Leaves, Bacon and Quails Eggs plate. I forwarded it onto Alessandra, and it pretty much became a forgone conclusion that that was what we were going to order. Seriously, how amazing does it look? Anyway, the rich bacon and eggs and the bitter leaves went well together, but provided the perfect backdrop for the smoked eel which was very more-ish. For those of you who have never had smoked eel before, I'd describe it as a milder, but richer and more complex smoked mackerel type flavour. Just without the mackerel taste, if that makes any sense at all! Anyway, if you live in London and you think it is something you'd like to try, Boopshi's is the place to do it.
Because as we both agreed fries are fries, we went for the potato salad, another dish I'd really recommend as a side to share, especially if you feel having something else fried with the schnitzel might be a bit of overkill. Honestly, if you're having dinner and you'd like a bit more food having dishes to yourself or a whole schnitzel would be fine, but for the two of us over lunch a schnitzel, another main and a side turned out to be the perfect amount of food.
Just for something sweet we finished up by sharing the Sachertorte for dessert. It was an okay torte with a good flavour, but I felt it was a little dry; the only think that was not perfect about the meal. I do plan to go back to Boopshi's, I think it will make a perfect spot for lunch meetings, and as I said I want more of their spritzers, I will probably try their Apple Strudel instead next time. Oh, as Alessandra and I were discussing try to make 'going out for dessert' a 'thing' in London, and go somewhere else for my sweet fix after another delicious meal.

Have any of you been to Boopshi's yet and found your favourite schnitzel and spritzers? And are there any other relatively new London openings that you've been wanting to check out? I have my eye on Lanes of London that has just opened on Park Lane, and serves food inspired by all the different food cultures in London from Brick Lane to Portobello Road. 


  1. YES to going out for dessert! It's my favourite part and so often it gets skipped over, I would definitely be up for making it its own event!

  2. I feel there is a new column in the making here..!

  3. Oh. My. Greed. Seldom have I felt the distance between me and London to be so excruciatingly big. The eel looks divine. I love smoked eel. And I love the pairings. I did one for christmas with crispy fried bone marrow, parsley and lemon salad and pickled onions, which was fine then - but for these days the bacon & bitters combo sounds like the perfect thing. And I love that they add dill to the potato salad. Oh my. I have to go look for flight tickets.

  4. Somewhere to go on your list when you next visit London! Do you have a recipe for that eel; I've never actually made it myself before, the that crispy fried bone marrow sounds like something special!

  5. I will definitely go! I didn't actually smoke the eel myself, though. I got it from friends who visited their uncle who is a fisherman and who smokes fish. It was delicious. All I did was portion it, skin it and pair it with my mentioned sides. For the bone marrow I soak veal bones in salted water over night, then push out the marrow and cut it in discs of about 1,5 cm thick. These I double-bread, since the marrow becomes gooey when fried. so: flour / egg / flour / egg / bread crumbs. Then deep fry. It is really lovely that way. And oh so guilty.

  6. That breaded veal marrow is happening the next time I can find some veal bones to buy. I'm drooling at my computer screen, right now!

  7. One of my college friends and I used to go out for dessert and prosecco, I am going to have to restart that ritual! this restaurant looks amazing, I don't think I've had schnitzel since I visited the black forest

  8. Don't know how I've only just seen this! Lovely post, lovely images & a lovely date! Let's do this again soon :)