On the site of what used to be Cotidie, Fischers opened in June 2014. It is the latest outpost in the Corbin and King empire, which includes The Wolseley, The Delaunay, Colbert and Zedel. As with the Delaunay, Fischers is an all-day brasserie loosely inspired by early 20th century Vienna. Diners can eat breakfast, afternoon tea with strudel and cakes, or indulge from the lunch and dinner menu. The latter features schnitzel, German sausages (surely the wurst of all sausages?) and other hearty fare. Starters were priced from £7.25 to £12, main courses £13.25 to £26, side dishes £3.50 to £4.25 and desserts from £5.25 to £7.95. A £1.75 cover charge is added to the bill at lunch and dinner This contentious policy’s idea is apparently to differentiate between formal tablecloth dining at lunch and dinner (when it applies) and the more casual service outside these hours (when it does not). Personally I think cover charges annoy people on principle and should just be absorbed into the general pricing. The dining room is reminiscent of The Delauney, with its art deco style and tiled floor.
The wine list, with 50 reds and whites plus a few champagnes and dessert wines, ranged in price from £19.75 to £135, with a median price of just £43. It was nice to see so many Austrian wines on the list, though there are some French wines too for the less adventurous. Example labels were Grüner Veltliner ‘Lois’ 2013 Loime at £23 for a wine that you can find in the high street for £8, Riesling ‘Kamptaler Terrassen’ 2012 Bründlmayer at £40 for a wine that you can find in a shop for £11, and St Laurent Alte Reben 2009 Pittnauer from Burgenland at £70 for a wine that retails at £28.
Salad of beetroot and goat’s curd was pleasant, the yellow and purple beetroot having reasonable flavour, the dish nicely presented and topped with a few dressed salad leaves (13/20). I also tasted the chopped liver, which was served with crispbread and had good flavour.
Chicken schnitzel was served in a pool of meat reduction, the breadcrumb coating golden and even, the chicken inside cooked correctly. It is hard to get thrilled about such a dish, but it was very pleasant and is also surprisingly easy to mess up, as I have found eating versions over the years (14/20). The origins of this dish, traditionally made with veal, are lost in the mists of time but supposedly was served at a banquet in 1134 in Milan. There is also a reference to a thin slice of meat fried in breadcrumbs attributed to Marcus Apicius, the 1st century Roman gourmet, so the dish has certainly stood the test of time. My companion ate a further schnitzel variant in the form of veal Holstein, which also tasted good. Side dishes of sauerkraut, spinach and spaetzle were fine, though for me the cabbage could have had more vinegar (13/20).
Strudel of apple and walnut was made in the kitchen downstairs and had good texture and a little sharpness from the apples used. I have eaten better strudel in my life, but this was very a capable version (13/20).
Coffee was from Musetti, and as often with that popular brand, was pleasant rather than anything more. Service was excellent, the staff attentive and friendly. The bill, with some glass of wine to drink, came to £61 a head. If you had three courses and coffee and shared a bottle of modest wine then a typical bill would be around £65 a head. This seems to me a tolerable price for the level of food delivered. As ever with the restaurants in this group, the smart décor and capable service will be the main reason why most diners return.