If schnitzel brings to mind thoughts of chicken, you’re not alone. But the original schnitzel was actually made with veal. With origins dating back to 1800s Austria, the classic schnitty is so revered in its homeland (where it goes by wiener schnitzel) that veal must be used by law.
Luckily for Sydneysiders, there are plenty of pubs and restaurants that have followed this line of thought, giving veal a prestigious place on the schnitzel podium. Here are some of our top picks for getting the original schnitzel experience.
The Goni’s Schnitzelria, Ramsgate
A venue well loved by locals, Goni’s name alone is enough to pique the interest of those passing by. The most impressive thing about the eatery isn’t just the variety of schnitzels on offer, but the sheer size of each cutlet. Here you’ll find more than 15 variations of schnitzels, with classic veal styles sitting alongside those inspired by Spanish and Greek cuisines. The regular schnitzel is $35 but, if you’re feeling ambitious, there’s an option to upgrade to the jumbo for $46.50.
Una’s is a Darlinghurst institution and has been serving schnitzels from the same iconic spot on Victoria Street since 1970. You can expect to taste traditional dishes from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Hungary, including goulash and, of course, veal schnitzels. They’re offered three ways: the classic Viennese, the Jager (served with mushroom sauce) or the Gypsy (with a spicy tomato sauce). You don’t need to be overly prepared for this treat as there are no bookings, with the restaurant taking walk-ins only.
Bill & Toni’s, Darlinghurst
This Broadsheet favourite and Sydney institution was named after good friends Guglielmo (Bill) Chiappini and Toni de Santis in the early 1970s. A local fave, you can expect to see the same locals popping in each time you go. Bill & Toni’s is home to unpretentious and supersized servings of schnitzel; the veal variety comes as is, or you can get it topped with bolognaise and cheese. Expect the kind of generosity you’d get at mama’s or nonna’s house.
Twenty One, Double Bay
Twenty One has been serving home-style Hungarian food in eastern Sydney since its beginnings in 1958 as one of the first establishments in the Double Bay area. The cafe still maintains its ’50s charm, serving generously portioned and comforting meals. The wiener schnitzel is a standout, and you can also expect the likes of veal bakonyi with mushroom sauce and langos, Hungarian flatbread.
Ruse Bar & Brasserie in Parramatta Square offers up a refined menu celebrating quality ingredients, particularly proteins which are cooked over charcoal or in the giant woodfired oven. Here you’ll find 300-gram crumbed veal cutlets, which come with tomato and mustard; it goes well with a side of roast carrots and labneh. If the weather’s right, try and grab a table outdoors for a taste of European street-side dining.
Matteo, Double Bay
The overall intention of Matteo – which has another outpost in the CBD – is to make customers feel like they’re in the Amalfi Coast, and it does the job well. Taking the lead from the Italian spin on the Austrian veal classic cotoletta, here it’s served bone-in with fresh rocket, cherry tomato and Parmigiano Reggiano. Expect to also see a range of traditional Italian dishes inspired by D’Elia’s southern Italian roots, including parsley-infused scialatielli, seafood and meat options.
Maggie’s, Potts Point
To non-locals, Maggie’s is unassuming from the outside, but inside you’ll find a cute retro eatery known for its Eastern European signature dishes. As can be expected, schnitzel takes a prominent position on the menu with a choice of four different schnitzels on offer. If you’re struggling to choose, our pick is the popular veal jaeger schnitzel with creamy mushroom sauce, cabbage salad and potato rosti – a european classic.
Totti’s, Bondi or Rozelle
It’s not just woodfired bread, a selection of house-made charcuterie antipasti and pickled fish at Totti’s. You can expect a refined menu with quality Italian classics, including the 300-gram veal rump schnitzel. Big enough to share (or to be enjoyed alone), the thin and crispy schnitzel is served with grated parmesan and a wedge of lemon. The Totti’s name still lives up to its reputation and can be booked out up to four months in advance, so we suggest making a reservation.
The Italian Bowl, Newtown
There’s almost always a line at this iconic Italian venue on Newtown’s King Street, though it’s for good reason and well worth the wait. Aside from its huge pasta list, it also has an extensive mains menu. This includes the choice of seven veal dishes – including the classic veal schnitzel, a version with green peppercorn, cream and Napoletana sauce, and veal parmigiana with mozzarella, eggplant, parmesan and Napoletana sauce.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Australian Veal .