Tiroler Hut
27 Westbourne Grove
Bayswater
Westminster W2 4UA
14/11/2010
Bleah! It is all I have to say.

  • Food: 1
  • Ambience: 1.5
  • Service: 2.5
  • Value: 1
  • Overall: 1.5
Monica
I had a multi-day argument (that’s the right word) with Monica on which Austrian to go to. I wanted to opt for Bistro Delicat, a café in Clapham which looked good and had the best reviews on London Eating, which is supposed to be the rule. But my dear wife said it was not genuinely Austrian enough and that we always do what I want, so we did not do what I wanted and went to the uber-tacky Tiroler Hut, ignoring the bad reviews, for a taste of Austria.

You walk down the stairs and you are instantly transported to a mountain chalet: the tables, low ceilings, the tons of bric-a-brac hanging on the walls, it really feels like being in the Alps. A smiling, polite waiter in a traditional costume takes your coat and walks you to the table. You walk into the main room and there’s a guy in a very Alpine, really funny DJ stand playing and singing traditional music in German. So you think: this place is amazing!

Except it isn’t. You sit down and look around and realise it’s actually filthy. The benches are from another century and have seen the backsides of way too many people. Everything you see, particularly the Tirolese stuff on the walls, looks tired and worn and covered in a thin layer of grime. This includes the menus.

As we were waiting for the starter a bug left its little home inside a pseudo-cuckoo-clock / chalet model above our table and took its place to dine with us. It was maybe an inch long not including antennas and slim, a kind of thin cockroach possibly. I chased it and it went back into its lair. At this point I wanted to leave. We did not, primarily because we wanted to go through with the mission. In hindsight I wonder why.

So here’s the food, having tasted everything:
Bratwurst: too much fat in the sausage, hopelessly forlorn on the plate. In summary a poor quality sausage, well cooked but terribly presented.

Gulash Suppe: tasted good, actually. Spicy, warm, it was alright.

Speck: poor quality speck, too thickly cut.

Knoedels: stodgy but passable.

Pork fillet with mushrooms and spatzle. Firstly it was not fillet but some other cut of pork. It was badly cut, overcooked and tasted of paper. The mushroom sauce was pedestrian and did not taste particularly good. The spatzle were ridiculous, basically a tasteless bock of solidified and reheated mush. Presentation looked like vomit.

It must be said that I know this kind of food fairly well because my wife is from South Tirol, a part of Italy were most people speak German as first language and look, live and eat like Austrians. It was annexed to Italy less than 100 years ago. Monica’s spatzle are to die for. Those were rubbish.

Glass of Austrian red: barely passable.

Service was polite and smiling but way too quick. It was obvious they were just reheating most food and throwing it onto a plate. After the mains I could not stand still any more, I just wanted to leave. I was so restless I did not even complain, neither about the food nor about the beetle. As we were waiting for the bill another tiny insect, possibly a tick, made its appearance on the table and started eating a piece of mushroom which had fallen from the plate. We paid £54 and ran, less than 60 minutes after walking in.
Tiroler Hut is not only a revolting stag-night shithole. It was the most disgusting eating experience in my life. It was worse than the Albanian, worse than the time I was dragged to Apollonia Dine & Dance in Fitzrovia, worse than the worst dump I have had the disgrace of eating in any godforsaken country I have visited.

From now on I refuse not to choose the place with the best reviews on London Eating, and even then I reserve the right to say “sod it, move on to the next country” if I don’t like the look of it. This mission has got to be fun, otherwise there’s no point. If we are to ever get to Zimbabwe then we have to up the standards.

  • Food: 1.5
  • Ambience: 1
  • Service: 2.5
  • Value: 1
  • Overall: 1.5
Edo
AUSTRIA