I must confess – my biggest motivation to visit German Gymnasium was not so much the food but to check out the interior design of the restaurant itself.
Set in a plush, converted Grade II listed building that formerly housed the German Gymnastic Society in the 19th century, this is the sort of ‘gym’ that floats my boat!
Designed by Conran and Partners, German Gymnasium has won multiple awards including the Best Overall Restaurant at the recent 2016 Restaurant and Bar Design Awards. When you enter the restaurant, you immediately know why. The stunning restaurant is set on two levels, but this is a large span building with triple height ceilings and magnificent roof structures.
They have tried to create a modern German Brasserie whilst preserving some of the original industrial features of the space.
Swish marble table tops, distressed leather banquettes and blush pink chairs soften the heavy industrial look.
To me, the biggest attraction here are the views, both from the cafe downstairs looking up to admire the roof and from the restaurant looking down to the buzzing cafe.
We arrived during a busy lunch time service on a Sunday and it was packed. Judging by the popularity, it is highly recommended to book in advance; otherwise you are welcome to wait at the bar till a table is ready. This place has a good selection of German beers so do sample one of those while you wait!
On this particular occasion, having temporarily weaned myself off alcohol before the Christmas debauchery begins, I decided to try one of their soups instead.
I ordered the Pumpkin Soup with Pumpkin Seeds and Croutons (£8.50) from their Winter Specials menu. This soup was warming and beautifully fragrant with the toasted, nuttiness from the little pumpkin seeds. It was velvety and luxurious without being overly creamy. A wholesome and super comforting bowl of soup!
Having recently returned from Vienna, Husband decided to check out GG’s version of Goulash Soup (£9.75) to see how well London does it! He was thoroughly impressed as the goulash soup was beautifully slow-cooked, with bold flavours and a spicy kick.
For our mains, we wanted to try the sausages. I opted for the Kasekrainer (£14.50) – smoked and grilled cheese-stuffed sausage with sauerkraut, crispy onions and truffled potato puree. The sausage was a decent size, flame-blistered and smoky on the outside but flavourful and moist inside from the cheese. Sauerkraut is not one of my favourite things in the world, but GG’S version was mild so I didn’t mind it at all. The crispy onions and the truffled potatoes were definitely very pleasing to the palate, both in terms of taste and texture.
Husband went for the KX Currywurst (£11.50) – curry-infused pork sausage with spiced tomato sauce, green chilli, coriander, spring onions and triple cooked chips. This was definitely a more sophisticated version of the currywurst I have eaten from the bylanes of Berlin. The tomato sauce was undoubtedly made with the freshest of ingredients and the flecks of herbs made it even more vibrant. The thick cut chips were a firm favourite. Husband proudly declared these were up there with some of the best chips: piping hot, crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside – just like it should be!
The dessert section looked very tempting but we had a busy afternoon of Christmas shopping ahead of us, so we decided to save it for next time. Sachertorte, Apfelstrudel and Black Forest Gateau feature proudly, enough to warrant a comeback!
The staff were impeccably groomed. It is good to see that a whole lot of thought and detail has gone into the branding and design of this restaurant – from the space itself right down to the staff uniform.
The food at German Gymnasium is indulgent and sophisticated, if not game-changing. The interiors are stylish; the atmosphere is lively and upbeat. Altogether, this brings a unique, exciting, uber-cool, glamorous touch to this destination restaurant. Whether for a special date, a family get-together or a catch up with mates, I would highly recommend booking a table here.
(Our total cost of the meal came to be £55 for two including drinks and service.)
More information can be found here.
N.B. All opinions and views expressed in this blog are my own. The photographs used have been taken by me and my partner (credited wherever applicable). I review anonymously and pay for my meals.