From Banking to Baking: How Did Austrian Cuisine Come to Islington?


Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 3:33 p.m

Burnout often leads to a career change. So Hubert Zanier got tired of his career as an investment banker and instead devoted his professional life to schnitzel, strudel and other Austrian classics.

Today he runs Islington’s Austrian restaurant and confectionery Kipferl (German for croissant).

“Kieferl started out as a small kitchen near Smithfield. It has made a name for itself for authentic, high-quality cakes, savory sausages, Viennese coffee and other Austrian staples,” says Zanier, who lives in Kufstein, Tirol, Austria. Earned a good reputation. In his previous life he worked for banks such as Citibank, JP Morgan and BNP Paribas.

“Like many bankers, at some point I got fed up with the numbers business. I transitioned into hospitality in 2016 to run a small Southeast Asian grab and go chain in town.

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“When I had the chance to run Kieferl in 2019, my dream of building an Austrian restaurant in London finally came true. I’ve grown Kieferl from a local coffee shop to a full fledged restaurant and added an e-commerce business during lockdown. ,

Almost everything is now available across the UK. Only Topfentort (Austrian cheesecake) and Esterhazy (cognac or vanilla flavored buttercream sandwiched between layers of walnut dough) are too delicate for posting but can be delivered by refrigerated courier to any postcode within M25. could.

“We currently have a team of three pastry chefs, they are all Italian. It’s almost impossible to find Austrian chefs in London, but they follow our Austrian cuisine and are really good technically.

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“Some dishes come from my family, others from our Austrian chef who cooks in the Austrian embassy.”

Kipferl also offers a wide range of quality wines, including the classic Austrian Sekt, a sparkling wine that’s now considered “quality sparkling wine” — with a long, narrow goblet to keep the bubbles from escaping too quickly. Best served in tulip-shaped glasses.

A final recommendation is the Linger Torte, one of the oldest cakes in the world. It’s a rich pastry filled with jam and served with lots of whipped cream. Now available in North London.

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