On a sunny Saturday in London it is always fun to find a new neighborhood to explore, and a bonus to discover a newly opened restaurant offering several tasty, if somewhat unfamiliar (for me) food options. Kipferl is a Viennese coffeehouse in the trendy Portobello Road area of London. As a coffee lover that fact alone would make me want to step inside, but I discovered that there is so much more on offer.
The Kipferl story began in 2004 with the opening of a delicatessen near Smithfield in the City of London. Londoners welcomed the opportunity to sample high quality and authentic Austrian staples including cakes, sausages, and Viennese coffee. In 2007 Kipferl took over the operation of the park café in Corams Fields (closed in 2013). In 2011 further expansion took place with the opening of a coffeehouse and kitchen in Camden Passage in Angel. Now, in 2015 comes their latest venture, a ‘Kipferl Kneipe and Kitchen’ in Golborne Road, off Portobello Road.
“We still pride ourselves in being a bit of a ‘Geheimtip’ – a ‘little secret’. All our sites are united by our quest for quality, authenticity, consistency and attention to detail” Christian Malnig, Owner
Golborne Road runs east from Portobello Road in London’s Notting Hill district. Part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Golborne Road has a daily street market that appears to be quite eclectic. Vintage art, clothes, and furniture stalls make this a fun neighborhood to explore. Checkout the Portobello and Golborne Market website for a list of opening hours (as they vary depending on the season), market stall information (each day appears to have a theme), and blogs and the latest news about events etc.
The Kipferl concept is that of a Viennese coffeehouse where you will find patrons lingering over a cup of coffee while reading a newspaper, and other groups enjoy a three-course dinner. The menu is therefore quite wide-ranging. Homemade Austrian cakes and specialty coffees alongside familiar Austrian delicacies such as schnitzel and frittatan soup can be found, plus a selection of Austrian Tapas and desserts. There is also a brunch menu, served on Friday, Saturday and Sundays through to 1pm.
I began with a lovely cup of Austrian coffee, beautifully served on a tray complete with a glass of water and a small chocolate, in true Austrian style evidently. After taking advise from my dining companion (who just happened to be Austrian, so quite the authority I thought on what was best to sample), I tried the Wiener Schnitzel vom Kalb, a pan friend veal schnitzel served with parsley potatoes, cranberry sauce and mixed salad (GBP 17.50) and David tried the chicken schnitzel version (well actually we shared both schnitzel to get the best of both).
A schnitzel is a boneless meat, thinned with a meat tenderizer, coated with flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs, and then fried. A popular food in many countries, it is made from veal, mutton, chicken, beef, turkey, reindeer or pork.
The meat was extremely tender to cut, and to eat, and not at all greasy (as I would usually steer away from fried anything). The generous serving was certainly a hearty lunch portion. That said, it’s hard to resist a tempting dessert, so we didn’t, and all three of us tucked into a portion of Marillen Palatschinken (GBP 4.80). This delectable dessert consisted of freshly made pancakes with apricot jam, served with vanilla ice cream, and a huge dollop of cream (my mouth is watering just typing this as the memory floods back).
Such is the beauty of London that you can find a traditional Viennese coffeehouse offering authentic Austrian dishes. Everything about Kipferl is so stylish and well planned, from the design of the restaurant, by the London based Austrian designer Benedict Wilhelm, to the carefully crafted menu. A visit to Kipferl makes me want to book a ticket to Vienna to sample more of this fascinating culture. But if you don’t want that hassle, then pop along to Golborn Road, or their other location in Angel and see what I’m talking about. I think a visit to a Viennese coffeehouse in the trendy Portobello Road is just what your weekend needs.
Address: 95 Golborne Road, London W10 5NL (off Portobello Road)
Telephone: 0208 969 5852
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 12pm – 10pm, Friday – Saturday: 10am – 10pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays: 10am – 6pm.