The German Gymnasium is D&D’s latest whopper of a restaurant which is housed in a former…. German gymnasium. The building is quite breathtaking with its huge, wooden beamed ceiling, but the addition of clubby music (a bit too ME Hotel for my liking) jarred a little.
We booked the upstairs restaurant which, other than giving us a nice view of the place, lacked a bit of atmosphere. It felt like we were missing out on the fun downstairs, which is far more relaxed and offers a cheaper menu, so we moved down.
Once the kerfuffle was over, we started with a particularly good North Sea brown shrimp cocktail (£14.50) and a chopped steak tartare (£12.50). The latter was coarse and the addition of capers and gherkins added oodles of flavour. The portion was massive too.
For main, my veal schnitzel (£25.50) was a little odd looking; like it had exploded. It looked in pain. The breadcrumb coating had come away from the veal and with every mouthful there was a weird flavour of doughnut. The warm potato salad beneath it wasn’t warm and the potatoes were undercooked. I longed for the Delaunay; the home of the best schnitzel in my book.
My gentleman companion faired better with his juicy sausage, of which there were two, atop some crisp fried onions and a dollop of mash. The smoked schinkenknacker (£14.50) had the perfect balance of salt and greasiness, which made it pure comfort food.
Sticking to the Deutschland theme, we shared the apple strudel (£7) which came with a mini (possibly too mini?) jug of creme anglaise, sorry, “vanilla sauce”. The pastry was crisp and the inside was packed full of raisins and soft apple; very nice indeed.
Service in the downstairs section was super friendly and chatty, although they did feel a little understaffed, as getting someone’s attention wasn’t the easiest at times. I can see what they’re trying to do with the German Gymnasium, and I don’t doubt once they iron out the problems that having such a giant restaurant can present, they’ll be bang on the money.