German Gymnasium, Kings Cross
It seems like every week sees a new bar or restaurant opening in Kings Cross, and though I've seen people grumbling about the area turning into a corporate, soulless duplicate of Canary Wharf, I for one don't feel like that and couldn't be happier that there are now great places to go and eat round there. Or perhaps you'd rather stick to Casa Mamma and the like?
Anyway, German Gymnasium is one of the most recent of the batch, so I trotted over there last Friday for dinner with friends (having reserved one of the only sensibly timed tables three weeks previous). Housed in apparently an old gymnasium - though I can't really picture what it was before - on the square between Kings Cross and St Pancras, this is the latest D&D opening and as ever they've done a great job. The building is large, dramatic and very beautiful, with the Grand Cafe situated in a huge tall atrium which hosts a very glamorous bar surrounded by tables.
This pic is off the GG website and you can see how lovely it is, but its very different for a Friday night - when it's dark and has a very different vibe, as in my terrible pic:
It's definitely a great choice for a weekend dinner - really buzzy, fun and cool without being the slightest bit pretentious or offputting.
Onto the food. All of it was GREAT and we revelled in getting our schoolgirl German out to the poor Hungarian waiter and choosing the most Bavarian dishes possible. Here's my Truffled Beef Broth with Liver Dumplings (£7.50)
Light, yet rich and the dumplings were like a really delicate fancy faggot....!
The prawn cocktail was also a £12.50 triumph:
And the steak tartare was deeply hued, spicy and tangy. I'd have been happy with it for a main (£10.50):
We asked our waiter about signature dishes and he advised us we must absolutely order the Veal Schnitzel (£23.50) and some of the Wurst selection. Ideal as we really, really wanted to. The schnitzel was absolutely gigantic and came with a potato salad and lingonberry sauce to set off the breadcrumbing. Very good indeed:
I opted for the Weisswurst, which I was told was a white (obvs) sausage of butter and cream then cooked in a white wine liquid. Three of my favourite things, so I was sold immediately. It comes with an oversized pretzel which was actually excellent in its close, sweet doughy way. The sausage looks terribly German and austere but is a thing of extreme flavour and deliciousness, so don't be afraid:
We all thought it was great - and at £12.50 for something so different, I was a big fan. The other sausage dish on the table was the thrillingly named Smoked Schinkenknacker £14.50 - and a different thing entirely:
These guys know what they're doing with their Wurst.
Another fun word coming up: Schupfnulden and Wild Mushroom with truffle, celeriac and not a small amount of butter. A Germanic gnocchi, if you will, for £15.50 and just as delicious as its Italian counterpart.
The Black Forest Gateau literally had to be done, and we were glad we did. It's very shareable at that size too:
The Hazelnut Praline Pot was well able to stand up to the comparison though, and was like a giant posh Guylian of deliciousness:
We had a bottle of house red and white throughout the meal - both from Western Europe though I forget exactly what, and a digestif each of some description too before being presented with an entirely reasonable bill of £55 a head inc. service. Pretty bloody good I think you'll agree. Fun times all round and I can't wait to go back.