Benny Hill chasing the ladies around. Allo, Allo with Herr Flick and pretty much every other European stereotype you can imagine, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Dame Edna and Sir Les Patterson with their antipodean clichés. Charlie Chaplin as the Great Dictator. Sid James and that laugh in the Carry On Films. Ok, so we are stretching it a bit. Let’s call it Commonwealth. We have an Australian, a guy who lived in Switzerland and a South African, but you get the idea. It’s all about cultural stereotypes. And Benny Hill.
And we all love those cultural clichés. LIHOL has categories based on which countries food comes from. The image of efficient Germans running round with their sausages, passionate Italians chowing down on their pasta, relaxed Hawaiians with their, erm – weird rice-like dishes, Australians with their barbies and lager and brash Americans sitting down with their burgers.
So, back to London. Old Compton Street. A mecca for those people loving a good sausage.
And among them, apparently, is Herman Ze German with his shop at number 33. Of course, I say he, but Herman only exists in our minds. It is two marvellous people who have toured the country selling delicious sausages from pillar to post and, who, setting the path for numerous food travellers since, have set up a shop in Soho.
Regardless of the background, what you get is a clean, well-attended restaurant, with functional tables on the ground floor and slightly more space downstairs. And, on a hot, hungover day, quite a lot of sweat below. Service is enthusiastic and friendly.
But enough of that, onto the sausages – a phallic symbol made for comedy. They had run out of meatballs on the day I went there so feeling like I was lacking some bits, I went for a bierwurst with a curry sauce and some fries. Germans and their curry sauce. OK, so apparently we should all be aware of this – that curry sauce gets around. And part of the fun of this place is the puns. As you walk in, it tells you the Wurst is the Best. I get it. And all the menu is written in what I assume if faux German, which with a bit of concentration, is easy to understand.
But the thing is, clever marketing or not, bad puns designed to make us chuckle or not, with a hungry tummy this is a good place to go. Sauerkraut and special German soft drinks mean that you will be having something not only interesting, but satisfying. Big, bold flavours, processed pork and a rather nice bread all go together for a satisfyingly gutsy lunch with mayonnaise and other sauces sprayed willy nilly. As for those Germanic drinks – none of the normal stuff here. You can get soft drinks made by Fritz – cola, lemon, cherry, melon and other stuff. I went for the melon, which was refreshing, but a bit watery. Or you could have beer.
Good for curing a hangover and with the fine selection of alcoholic beverages, possibly good for creating one.
I probably could have stayed there all afternoon and my dining companions all loved it. We observed a lot of other happy eaters.
Herman ze German, we were quite impressed. For a meal that is quick, tasty and satisfying, this ticks all the bochs. Quite efficient really….
Taste – 8.0
Change from a tenner - £1.20
Time out – 30 minutes
German efficiency - 8