It means we are reaching for comfort food. Piping hot, creamy dishes, mounds of herby vegetables, hunks of unctious meat and spiced puddings that rest heavily in the flavour scale.
The Austrian warmth of Fischers ticks all of these boxes. Sitting in the world cuisine bed of Marylebone (often an undiscovered gem) Yannick and I visited on a cold evening - one of those where your hands whip from pockets to gloves.
Arriving fairly early by most standards (though perfect for my early hour appetite) we were greeted and shown to a cute corner table, perfect for people watching in between forkfuls. The decor seems to be white-table Viennese; accents of plush copper finishes, panels of mirror and cut crystal water glasses. This is no place for white wall modernists.
We visited with open minds (and a past visit where Yannick found the afternoon crowd to be a little flat) and simply allowed ourselves to be warmed through. We began with a malty bread basket, rich with flavour and whipped butter lavished with sea salt ripples. It was a good start.
I sipped a glass of mineral-rich white (the Dry Furmint 2012 Royal Tokaji) whilst my Luxembourg partner-in-crime tested their Aperol spritz skills. Appreciative Mmmmmhmmms all round.
The menu is beautifully simple, so we tried their specialities; I couldn't resist their Wurstchen (sausages) sampling the Nurnberger (pork and majoram) which was nice, and their veal bratwurst (with chicken, lemon and ginger.) The veal sausages were how you think sausages should be - velvety, rich and beautifully flavored. Served with a warm mustard potato salad (delicious), melted onions (nice) and sauerkraut (piquant in all the right ways) which warmed the cockles of my foodie heart. Simple, hearty and good.
Ever the blog pro, my foodie tour guide/dinner date enjoyed the wiener schnitzel (when in Rome and all that) served with a jus pariesenne and half a lemon for a balancing acidity which was lovely. He even took his own photos for me and graciously allowed me a bite - for the blog of course. Funnily enough, schnitzel was a staple in my Kiwi childhood and this was as good as I remembered it from years ago.
We shared sides of spatzle (buttery, herby goodness) and a plate of wilted spinach. Apologies for the shuddery photo - simultaneously wielding a fork and camera subtly is a little unweldy at times...
But, for me the winner was dessert. (Frequent blog readers won't be surprised as this declaration...) We took more than a little time pouring over the menu, do we go rich, chocolately and unctious or fruity and decadent? Choices, choices. Deferring to our waitress, she recommend the house speciality of Topfenstrudel; a cheese (as in cream, not cheddar) with raisins, lemon and rum between whisper thin layers of pastry, all served with a light vanilla custard. YUM.
Yannick's Lemon Meringue Pie - it disappeared quicker than you can say lemony Londony Luxembourger...
How about now....?
Will I be back to Fischers? In a heartbeat. They say it is a taste of early Twentieth Century Vienna - it only makes our trip later in the year to Austria all the more exciting...!
Take that Blue Monday!