Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Herman Ze German - Old Compton St

I've spent many a summer's holiday winding up new found German friends with the went-down-with-the-ark joke of: (clears throat)

Me (in comic Gestapo accent): 'You Germans make the verst sausages in the verld'
Helga (in actual Gestapo accent): 'Nein! We make ze BEST sausages in ze verld!'
Me: 'no, you make the VERST sausages in the verld'
Helga: 'NEIN. Ve make ze BEST...' etc etc (repeat whole thing indefinitely)

So you would think the old 'wurst sounds like worst' gag would be a bit over in 2013.
Nope, you'll be slapping your thighs in rhapsody to learn, it's happily alive and well, and used as the main super-pun in the Herman Ze German brand, a well loved little German sausage place in that little street going down to Embankment station thats always full of tourists and people trying to impress first dates by taking them to Gordon's wine bar.

Nicely managing to side-step the hotdog craze of a couple of years ago (remember that?), Herman ze German has been quietly knocking out his currywurst for a while now, and I'm not ashamed to say I've been to him a few times, and not only when I'm drunk. A quick portion of Herman's hot & greasy frankfurter before say, a boozy night out has often saved myself from ending up worse for wear on many occasion.

So imagine my delight when I discover that HzG was to open another sausage shop, this time in Soho!
Today was my first visit, and I'm happy to say I'll be back. The interior design has unsurprisingly decided to go down the general stripped-back industrial retro shack look, with lots of un-planed wood, reclaimed style tiles and lighting and all that, but hey, who doesn't. I'm so used to restaurants having a design plan that simply says 'make it look like the last 5 trendy places' that I'd honestly be shocked if someone had the balls any more to decorate their place with anything different.

But anyway. The menu is short (of course, it is London and post-millenium) and to be honest I would have liked this one to have had a few more variations, or sides, or SOMETHING to make the simplicity of sausage and chips a little more…varied? As usual, I asked the server what the 'best thing to have' was, and was recommended the smoked sausage, with fries and medium heat curry sauce.
What can I say? Great intense sauce, deep flavoured sausage and excellent, crispy, salty, moreish fries.

It was lunchtime so I didn't drink alcohol, but they did seem to have a good selection of beer.
If I hadn't been so hungry, or greedy, I'd have gone for the hilarious-but-utterly-offensively-sexist-to-some-flat-shoe-wearers 'no carbs, fraulein?' special lighter menu of sausage & salad. In fact, I was a bit sad they didn't seem to offer salad as a side.
Nice touches: Herman insisting on calling everything 'ze' - 'ze sink' etc, it seems the Germans are learning our feted English humour after all. Also a sink in the main room, presumably to wash your hands on the way out?

It's great, really. One thing I really really rate here though are the fries. Everyone bangs on about who has the best fries, but I reckon Herman's are up there.
So, go to Herman Ze German, crack a few sausage innuendo and wurst jokes, etc etc. You won't be offered a more tasty looking wiener in Old Compton St.

Smoked sausage, fries and medium heat curry sauce
Herman Ze German on Urbanspoon


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