33 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RS www.hermanzegerman.com
Chloe finds it's not by any means the wurst thing in the world.
Herman ze German was founded in 2008 after Azadeh and Florian started importing homemade sausages from their family butcher in the Black Forest to sell in a pub in Brighton. After six years of taking their sausages to the UK crowds at festivals, they opened shop in London. Their Fitzrovia site on Charlotte Street is their latest venture.
I was sceptical about Herman ze German, I hadn’t heard amazing things. However, everything I had heard turned out to have been very, very wrong.
This Herman ze German, like many new restaurants in London these days, has a small restaurant on the first floor, and a large restaurant in the basement that is laid out almost like a Bavarian beer hall – wooden tables with benches, low lighting and a bar at the end. On top of that, you get a laminated menu with a marker pen, so when you choose your food, you simply tick it off on the menu and hand it to your server. It’s simple – the more you want, the more you tick.
If you’re going to go to Herman ze German, you of course must try one of the wursts – and if you’re going to try any, try the ze Über Ding, served on a layer of paper in a plastic weaved basket. Ze Über Ding is a chilli wurst with jalapenos, German mustard, fresh onions, cheese and a handful of pommes frites all served in a brioche roll.
It wasn’t quite what I was expecting – when I think of chilli wurst I think of hot dogs topped with chilli, whereas this was a sausage that had the chilli inside it. However, it was delicious, especially when topped with extra gherkins and crispy onions. The sausage was spicy and warming and the brioche was sweet which contrasted nicely with the flavour of all the toppings while the added gherkins gave it a sharp twist.
Another must-try dish, if you aren’t in the mood for a wurst, is the schnitzel. Served on the ‘plate of the moment’, white tin with a dark blue rim, the chicken schnitzel was pounded fantastically thin and crisp, and fried to a lovely golden colour. It wasn’t greasy, it wasn’t over cooked, it was just right.
On to the sides. We may have gone a tad overboard here but, it was definitely worth it. Firstly, the plain pommes frites that come with the schnitzel. These were perfectly thin, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, just like a good frite should be.
However, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, try the super pommes frites, which are regular fries topped with cheese, chilli wurst and a sweet chilli mayo. The chilli wurst and the sweet chilli mayo gives them a kick, whilst the cheese was perfectly melted, bringing all the ingredients together in one great mouthful.
The potato salad was creamy with a slight zing, and the sauerkraut pot tangy, just as you would expect. With all the richness that inevitably comes with lots of fried foods, this was just what we needed to add another layer and texture to the meal.
Of course, if you want something to wash down all your food with, Herman ze German has a fantastic range of beers, including some tasty German wheat beers. Or, they have a very unexpected selection of cocktails, including the Queen Bee, The Huntsman and the Rapunzel.
After trying the food at Herman ze German, I was thoroughly surprised, and if you’ve heard negative things about the food there, don’t listen to them and go and try it for yourself. It is a great place for relaxing, eating some great, if slightly unhealthy, food with friends and at a fantastic price. I am looking forward to going back.