Homegirl London’s Restaurant Review: German Gymnasium. No, this isn’t an article about a work out at the gym, it’s all about the Grand Café and Restaurant located at Kings Cross in London which serves Mittel-European cuisine (Middle European). Homeboy and I popped out last Sunday in search of lunch and ended up treating ourselves to a meal there followed by cake. If you’re looking for European restaurants in London, German food in London or places to eat in Kings Cross, give German Gymnasium a try.
“Savour the Mittel-European rich dishes and decadent desserts at the Grand Café in the stunning German Gymnasium which you’ll remember fondly long after you’ve settled the bill,” Homegirl London
German Gymnasium Grand Café Lunch Menu
You can dine in the Grand Café on the ground level, upstairs in the restaurant or enjoy a drink and snacks at the Meister Bar. There are many menus to consider; breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Ask to see the vegetarian and children’s menus if required. I’m just going to focus on the lunch menu at the Grand Café, and hopefully, I might go back again to talk about the others at some point. The chef is Bjoern Wassmuth, who has created a menu brimming with classic Mittel-European dishes.
We started with a Creamy Cauliflower Soup, which was outstanding. It has a scattering of cheese croutons and finely chopped chives on top. This was part of their Winter Specials which will be over soon now that the warm weather has started. It was raining on the day we ate our lunch, so the soup was comforting. Other starters included an Atlantic Shrimp Cocktail, Smoked Salmon and Chopped Steak Tartare.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
For my main, I chose a vegetarian option of Schupfnudel. This was hand-rolled potato noodle which was slightly crispy. It was presented on a bed of celeriac puree, which was delicious. The dish also included spring greens and wild mushrooms with a butter sauce poured over and a scattering of truffle flakes. I enjoyed every mouthful, it was decadent and rich.
Meanwhile, Homeboy tucked into his Caraway and Coriander Spiced Sea Bass on a base of spinach sauce with mixed peppers over the fish and a serving of turmeric mash. He loved the sea bass, which is seasoned to perfection. The mash potato was terrific. I know because I helped myself to most of it!
Popular dishes for main courses are the Chicken or Veal Schnitzels, the German Sausages (veal and pork) served with sauerkraut, Burgers and Hot Dogs. Some of these sounded spectacular like the Giant Curry Dog which is a curry infused smoked pork sausage, coleslaw, curried tomato sauce, and crispy onions all in a soft brioche roll. Or you can try the Calves Liver, Braised Ox Cheek Goulash. It’s a paradise for meat-eaters! If you do want to be super healthy, try one of the salads. Or order yourself a classic German roll filled with avocado and goats cheese, smoked salmon and cream cheese or chicken club. If you’re there for a celebration, then the oysters and caviar might be desirable.
Classic German Sandwiches
If you have room, order one of the desserts or cakes. Classics include Black Forest Gateau and Apple Strudel. I went for the Sachertorte with Chantilly cream. Homeboy tucked into the Hazelnut Praline which was a hazelnut mousse with caramelised hazelnuts, toffee sauce and Chantilly cream. We enjoyed every mouthful of the entire meal and were totally stuffed afterwards.
Sachertorte and Hazelnut Praline
To give you an idea about prices; Burgers and Hot Dogs cost £9.50-12.50, German Sausages £11.50-14.50, Schnitzels £16.50-26, Mains £18.50-29, Oysters and Caviar £14.50-65 and Desserts £5.50-9.50. The drinks list is extensive, and you’ll find some great German wines and beers. They also have a cigar list with Cuban varieties!
German Gymnasium Interiors
This grade II listed Victorian building and was designed in 1865 by Edward Gruning for the German Gymnastics Society, hence the restaurant name. It was the first purpose-built gymnasium which was funded by Germans living in London. They hosted the indoor events there for the Olympic Games in 1866. Situated opposite St Pancras International, it forms part of the re-development of the area which is now called King’s Boulevard. Outside is a terrace with alfresco dining, which is perfect for people-watching.
Inside you will find spectacular interiors which makes this restaurant well worth a visit. On the ground floor is the Grand Café and on the first floor, you will find the restaurant. They also have two bars and private dining areas. We sat in the Grand Café where the ceiling height is unbelievable; it goes up and up and up. The mezzanine dining tables seemed far away. It’s all very glam inside with grey and white marble flooring and bar counters against gleaming black surfaces. Upstairs on the mezzanine level, you will see columns and warehouse-style whitewashed walls. It’s a great place for an impressive business lunch or a special celebration.
German Gymnasium Information
To find out more about the restaurant, go to the German Gymnasium Website. The restaurant address is 1 King’s Boulevard, London N1C 4BU. The nearest underground is Kings Cross St Pancras, and the train station is Kings Cross and St Pancras International. Check the website for up to date opening times. You can book a table online which is advisable; we were lucky to get the last one when we arrived without a reservation.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London and D&D. Thanks: Homeboy for dining with me.