Eating or drinking the same thing over and over again is often seen as boring or unadventurous. As a kid you’re taught that wanting to eat turkey dinosaurs every day of the week is the mark of a simpleton, and that a successful life trajectory revolves around you developing an interest in eating aubergine. This is, of course, utter bollocks. Knowing what you like, and eating it over and over again, is reassuring. It’s reliable. Sometimes it’s all you want. Not a lot of restaurants realise this nowadays. Fischer’s in Marylebone does.
Fischer’s is from the same group as The Wolseley, Brasserie Zedel, The Delaunay, and Bellanger. This is relevant because these guys are, quite simply, the masters of European-style brasserie repetition in London. The food is rarely as spectacular as the rooms, but, as long as you stick to the classics, it’s always consistently good. Fischer’s is no different.
In this case the classics are anything Viennese, as that’s the European inspiration for Fischers. So if you order the herring to start, followed by the veal schnitzel - a flat, crisp piece of meat big enough to throw around the park on a sunny day - then you’re not going to be disappointed. Both are incredibly simple and incredibly tasty. It’s classic stuff. It’s the not so classic stuff on the menu that Fischer’s stutters at. A cauliflower, avocado and ‘superfoods’ - whatever they are - salad is on the menu because, 2018. It is not good.
If you want to avoid ordering any duds then here’s a tip: follow the trail of umlauts. There’s käsespätzle, a delicious Austrian mac and cheese made with egg noodles. Or käsekrainer, an excellent emmental stuffed sausage. You know what doesn’t have an umlaut in it? Grilled rib eye steak with onion rings. Okay, and neither does schnitzel, but you get what we’re saying.
Like its sibling restaurants, sitting in the room at Fischer’s feels like being transported to another time. Gold framed portraits of men with moustaches and women in cocktail dresses hang from semi-tiled walls. There’s polished wood everywhere you look. The toilet doors have a little gold curtain rail. Every minute aesthetic detail is considered as if it were a film set, with you the unwitting extra. Any number of things could happen in this room, from a murder to a marriage, and you wouldn’t be surprised.
Few London restaurants understand or embrace repetition, but Fischer’s does. This place buzzes with the conversation of people who have known each other and spoken about the same thing for years and years. This is an old friend and family kind of restaurant. One where you get your usual - be it schnitzel or käsespätzle - for the umpteenth time, because, why not?
This Austrian mac ’n cheese made with egg noodles is just as delicious as the one you know and love.
Getting the selection is a handy way to try these three different pickled herring. All are delicious.
It looks like a dog’s dinner but it tastes pretty good. It’s basically a rich chicken liver pâté, served with matzo, and pickled cucumber.
A sad, sad salad. Dry, underdressed, and not what this restaurant is about.
So big you think it’s your plate, but, actually, your plate’s just underneath. The chicken is crisp and moist, and the jus (stock, butter and lemon) is a nice accompaniment.
A little less bronzed than the chicken, but just as tasty.
Tasty enough sausages, but the potato salad is disappointing. Decent sauerkraut.
A baked cheesecake and strudel hybrid, this isn’t a light way to end your meal.
Franz Joseph was the emperor of Austria back in the 19th century and he really liked his pancakes. You can see why with this. Chopped up pancake with plum compote and sour cream is a lovely dessert.