German Gymnasium | Restaurant Review

April 26, 2016

German Gymnasium

The renovation of the German Gymnasium, situated right outside Kings Cross Station, took some time, so once it opened the whole family were excited to visit.

The historic building has turned into a modern, all day Grand Café and bar serving Mittel-European cuisine. We eagerly booked a table last month to celebrate Russell's birthday expecting bold flavours in their restaurant, which is situated on the first floor.
 
Before you read on, and in case you don't make it to the end, I need to warn you the experience was thoroughly disappointing.    

German Gymnasium  
German Gymnasium German Gymnasium
   
We arrived for drinks on the sunny terrace and admired the old brick building which was previously London’s first purpose-built gym and hosted indoor competitions in the 19th century. Inside the view from the first floor is stunning - from the dark-wood rafters to the large sunlight windows, I cannot faulty the venue at all. 

German Gymnasium review
German Gymnasium reviewGerman Gymnasium review

The disappointment, unfortunately, came from the food. 
 
To start Russell and I ordered the truffled beef broth with liver dumplings and white truffle oil. We saw a picture of the dish online before we booked showing the bowl decorated with fresh shaved truffle. However, when we received our order there wasn't a slither in sight and not a hint of truffle could be smelt of tasted. We found something reminiscent on miso soup seaweed at the bottom of our bowl, and sent the dishes back as they were inedible. 
 
The staff took both dishes off our bill immediately without hesitation, which made us question whether the service was good or if they frequently receive complaints... Russell's parents ordered the goulash and soup, which was pleasant but nothing to write home about.


German Gymnasium review

German Gymnasium reviewGerman Gymnasium review

We thought we played it safe by ordering the rib eye steak for our main course served with crispy onions and Spatzel (soft egg noodle). We were wrong. The meat was flavourless and very overcooked and the Spatzle was cold, hard and tasteless. 

Russell's mum enjoyed the salmon, which she said was cooked well, whilst Russell's Dad has made the mistake of ordering those awful dumplings, this time jazzed up as a main in a different sauce. I couldn't help but think the menu either wasn't very German at all, or had been designed with the cheapest ingredients possible to squeeze the biggest mark-up out of surprised diners.

German Gymnasium review
German Gymnasium reviewGerman Gymnasium review

Dessert was the best part of the meal, although I had to reorder twice as they accidentally given me an old menu with dishes they no longer served. If I were to return I'd order a coffee and pastry. 

German Gymnasium reviewGerman Gymnasium review

As far as birthday meals go, this was a rather expensive disappointment. The building itself is lovely and the location is extremely convenient, but I wouldn't recommend the venue for food, and judging by other recent reviews neither would a lot of other diners.