Have you ever been to Germany? If you’ve spent your life on our tiny island, chances are either a school field trip or an offensively orange Easyjet flight took you there. I’ve only been twice, but I know how good currywurst tastes, especially if it’s washed down with German wheat beer. So when a shop opened on my doorstep, claiming “our wurst is ze best”, it went straight to the top of my hit list.
Herman ze German doesn’t take itself too seriously – as you may have gleaned already – and is clearly a hit with central London Germanophiles. From stalls at music festivals, the first shop on Villiers Street opened in 2010 and was followed up by their second outpost on Old Compton Street last year.
Cashing in on drunk Soho revellers, the shop’s bright yellow lights make it hard to miss, while the meaty, smoky smell emanating from the door makes it impossible to pass.
…this calorie-laden wonder is the stuff of dreams…
Trying everything on the menu was ambitious and, given the amount of fries we were given, verging on impossible. The meat came first, a mere ten minutes after ordering.
Whoever came up with the idea of putting fries in a toasted hot dog baguette, adding a hot sausage, topping it off with onions and mayonnaise and calling it “ze wilde bock” (£5.75) is a genius. This calorie-laden wonder is the stuff of dreams. In contrast the chicken schnitzel (£9.95, with fries and salad) was too thick and dry, despite the breadcrumbs themselves being quite tasty.
…it came humbly enough, on a paper-lined tray…
The ultimate test – for me, anyway – was the currywurst (£5.95, with fries), and Herman claim theirs is “ze best”, so I had to find out. I have to say, it was pretty darn good. It came humbly enough, on a paper-lined tray, cut up into bite-sized chunks, with the sauce on the site, but this was only because we requested to try all the sauces, usually it would come drenched in the sauce of your choice.
The curry sauces go from mild to ‘ringer’, and the ‘ringer’ wasn’t even that spicy, unless you ate the whole sausage in one. The ‘normal’ is for smoky fans, but don’t come expecting the hottest curry, it’s pleasantly spicy but not extremely so.
…a delightful addition to Soho…
Herman also carry a cute line of German soda and coke – I tried the ‘mischmasch’, orange juice, lemonade and coke, which was deliciously refreshing and not too fizzy. The light Paulaner beer also complemented the smoky sausages very nicely.
During my meal – lunchtime on a Wednesday – the small shop was bustling with nearby workers getting their lunchtime meaty fix, though I imagine a return later in the day would see more intoxicated revellers getting their carb fix.
Either way, this is a delightful addition to Soho and will almost definitely be expanding further afield. It’s cheap, easy, delicious, and has a great sense of humour. What’s not to love.