When I was asked to review Herman ze German, I jumped at the chance as I have heard spicy things about their authentic German sausage menu! My boyfriend also tagged along; as it’s a place he wanted to tick off his restaurant must-try list. Based in the heart of vibrant Soho (old Compton Street) there is a real buzz about the place and a fun happy vibe.
From outside the place looks like a fast food joint with its bright yellow neon sign slightly reminiscent of a kebab shop you stumble upon at three in the morning but don’t let that put you off – step inside and you unearth a quirky German style diner. The decor is a mix of traditional German eatery with wooden panelled walls, a German produce display so you can see what you’re in for, kitsch gingham table cloths and a traditional German basin called ‘ze sink’ funnily enough, mixed with trendy neon lighting, classic British indie music playing and a huge bright orange sign saying ‘our Wurst Ze Best’! Well I was about to find out…
The drinks are cool with a good range of German beers and bottled German soft drinks. We went for a ‘Paulaner Helles’ which is a German Beer on tap and a bottled German cola to quench our thirsts while we scanned the menu. I have to admit I was unfamiliar as to the ‘must try’ dishes so asked the waiter for some inside advice and recommendations to help me make up my very indecisive mind – so many sausages to choose from! He was extremely helpful talking me through each dish. We decided on the Bratwurst ‘Wurst in a roll’, ‘chilli beef sausage Currywurst’’ and a skinny option (mainly for me, thinking of my waistline) of ‘Sausage and salad’. Service was fast – drinks and food coming all-together and we waited no longer than ten minutes.
The ‘Wurst in a roll’, which is a German sausage in a roll, is a tempting bargain at £4.45 and tasted delicious. The baguette was really fresh and soft and the sausage big and juicy. Just added some mustard and ketchup (essential for spicing up a hot dog I think!) This size portion is just right for a lunchtime bite or add a soft drink and ‘pommes frites’ for £8.55 (known as the Wurst deal ironically) if your stomach is crying out for something more substantial.
The chilli beef was also pretty good (£5.95 for a small) comprising of sausage pieces in a tangy curry sauce, which comes with chips. Also comes with traditional German accompaniments of crispy onions and Sauerkraut which sprinkled all over adds to the typical German flavour. The chips are also done German style being baked in the oven, with hi Tec German technology (apparently) so they have less fat but were still lovely and crispy. The slimmer’s option is ‘Sausage with salad’ (£5.75), which is kind of like a large meat patty. Thumbs up from me, as it was rich, meaty and very filling.
I would definitely give this place another visit (so would the boyfriend) as its good value, bit different from the norm and a fun place to go. The only thing that was missing was dessert, I enquired about the kuchen, German for cake if you didn’t know, as I was looking forward to sinking my teeth into a slice of Black Forest gateaux or a fancy torte, but was told they didn’t do sweets, which was a bit of a disappointment but hey, it didn’t detract from the delicious sausages and the bill, when it came, around £20 for 2 including drinks, which was pretty good value. All in all, das schemckt gut! – tasted pretty good too!
Words: Heidi Bland