Herman Ze German, Soho

If we’re talking cuisine, German features in my top three. Most definitely. There’s something so hearty and comforting about German food, yet very few places seem to actually ‘do it well’. When it comes to restaurants in London, they largely offer the same things and if they even attempt something German, it’s usually very greasy and dare I say it, tasteless. Having spent a substantial portion of time in both Germany and Austria for work and leisure, I’ve got a bit of a taste for authenticity and so my standards are rather high.

Luckily, it was this exact premise that set about the idea for Herman Ze German in 2008, a three-branch chain based in London – which is now a flourishing place for foodies – or anyone eager to seek out the best ‘wurst’ in town. Naturally, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and try it out for myself, so trotted down to their Soho branch on Old Compton Street for a truly German feast.

Clearly popular with locals and visitors, the small (but perfectly formed) restaurant hosts a handful of tables on the main shop floor (which were all full on our visit) and a further seating area downstairs. The decor is minimalist but quirky, with ‘Our Wurst is de Best’ emblazoned across the wall and a number of polaroids, featuring very happy bratwurst diners, lining the wooden walls. It’s the epitome of modern city dining – but of course, the food makes it rather unique and special.

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You order from the kitchen hatch, where you may – if you so wish – watch your food being prepared (always a reassuring sign, I must add) and drool over the delights being plated up. The menu features all of your typical German delights, with the option to personalise your order as you see fit. All of the bratwurst’s are gluten free and dairy free, which of course – was reassuring for me – and meant that I could enjoy the main attraction. You can choose to have yours in a bun, sprinkled with crispy onions (a little bowl of which come complimentary with every meal – if you request – and they’re too good to miss), chopped up and served with chips, or slathered with curry sauce. It’s totally up to how you’re feeling. If you’re in somewhat of a spicy mood, you can also go for the chilli beef wurst.

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After much deliberation, I opted for the bockwurst, which I was informed was the most popular choice. Featuring smoked pork, it tastes very much like a traditional frankfurter but far less greasy – and absolutely no grit or gristle. Sorry to use those two horrid words but they do kind of ruin a sausage for me. Smooth, smoky and slightly salty, it was incredible and I wished I’d doubled up and gone for the two sausage plate (which was an option).

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David bravely opted for the ze Uber Ding, a mammoth chilli wurst with jalapeños, mustard, fresh onions and mountains of cheese, served with a generous helping of pomme frites. It photographed exceptionally well (if I may say so myself) and was apparently incredibly tasty. Comfort food at its very best, without the greasy aftertaste.

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We also chose to sample the Schnitzel sandwich, which of course – is another German delight that you simply cannot miss. Although traditionally made with pork (which you can opt for too), the chicken version is a little lighter, with a deliciously crispy breaded outer layer – and tender meat inside. It’s served in a brioche bun, with apple and cucumber sandwich in a remoulade sauce. Despite arriving as a rather generous portion (in fact, all of the portion sizes here are massive – which is incredible considering each were under £8), the entirety had disappeared by the time we’d left – which is always an indication it’s been well received.

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We washed our delicious lunch down with two bottles of Germany’s finest Fritz-Kola. I’d actually never had these before (although they’ve been around a little while and originated in Hamburg) but they were absolutely incredible. Available in an assortment of flavours, they contain very little sugar – but make for a perfect fizzy accompaniment to your food. I opted for the apple flavour (pure carbonated apple juice) while David enjoyed the Kola flavour. It’s very similar to normal cola, however it has a more natural flavour – and quite the caffeine kick!

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Our side plates were also rather appealing – which we opted to top our dishes with (after the initial food photoshoot obviously). The sauerkraut was some of the best I’ve ever tasted – and the crispy onions (again, which I’ll add – are complimentary with any meal) were too good to miss. The mild curry sauce is definitely worth ordering (not if you’re dairy free, but fine for GF) if you fancy something to dip your sides into. And talking of sides, the pomme frites here are incredible. Like chips – 100x. Honestly, I’m not sure what it is about German pomme frites, but they seem to have an exceptionally tasty little secret.

If you’re in the market for some German cuisine, make sure you give this place a visit. It’s an amazing place for a naughty Sunday feast, with all the tastiness but none of the greasiness. They have branches in Soho, Charing Cross and Fitzrovia (on Charlotte Street), so if you’re strolling past – I’d highly recommend not missing out! Apparently, whenever you see a Herman, you know you’re getting a proper German! Hmm… 

Herman Ze German | link

Have you ever been to Herman Ze German? Do you enjoy German cuisine – or do you have another favourite cuisine?

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  • jodie.keith

    Okay, this looks delicious! It’s super close to where I work, too, so I’ll have to pop in some time!!

    Jodie @ Jodetopia x

    • Scarlett London

      It was so delicious! Definitely – let me know what you think 🙂 x

  • Pam Scalfi

    everything looks so good! ive never been to a german restaurant before and i dont even know why!!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

    • Scarlett London

      I’d definitely recommend a visit Pam, you won’t regret it! x

  • Robyn Samantha

    That hot dog looks frigging amazingggg

    Robyn | robynsamantha.blogspot.co.uk
    xx

    • Scarlett London

      It was SO good!! x