The German Gymnasium occupies an impressive mid-Victorian listed building between King’s Cross and St Pancras stations. Built-in 1865 by the German Gymnastic Society, it was the first purpose-built gym in England which also hosted the first indoor Olympic games in London. The restaurant group D&D did an amazing job converting it into a lovely space divided into a restaurant, two bars and a ‘grand ‘cafe’ while keeping the German theme alive with a menu that includes German classics from currywurst to black forest gâteau.
The space is utterly beautiful with its high ceilings, exposed original beams and the two grand staircases that lead up to the upstairs restaurant, where we were seated on a table overlooking the buzzing Grand Café below. We have enjoyed fantastic meals in the past at D&D restaurants in London like Coq d’Argent as well as Almeida (now closed) and when I saw that The German Gymnasium has teamed up with the Evening Standard, offering a three course meal from their winter set menu created by Head Chef Bjoern Wassmuth which includes a glass of Chandon Brut NV for £30 per person (offer still available until the 11th February 2018) I thought this is a great opportunity to try out another one of D&D restaurants here in London.
The meal started with a basket of fresh bread as well as gluten-free bread for my husband.
This was followed by a glass of Chandon Brut NV that was included in the meal offer.
My husband opted for the spiced potato soup with brussels sprouts and crispy prawn which had a lovely spiciness to it. The German Gymnasium has also a fine selection of German wines from which he ordered each of us a lovely glass of Riesling to accompany our meal with.
I ordered the spelt salad with goji berries, cranberries, broad beans and mixed leaves for starters. I like the texture and nuttiness of spelt and it was nicely combined with the fruitiness of the goji & cranberries, however, it could have been ‘dressed up’ a little better.
For mains, my husband had the Icelandic cod with balsamic lentils, saffron potatoes, bacon crisps and butter foam. Surely he would have loved to have one of the more meaty dishes of Beef Chili Currywurst or the Zigeuner Chicken Schnitzel but unfortunately, neither of these dishes were gluten-free and since he already had to give up the crispy prawn from his potato soup this was the safest bet for him.
The spinach ravioli with roasted parsnip & carrot puree, toasted hazelnuts and brown butter that I had for the main course was a pleasant mix of soft and crunchy textures as well as a nice combination of flavours and I really liked the roasted hazelnuts on top.
There were three desserts to choose from the menu namely Apple Strudel, warm chocolate brownie and farmhouse cheeses which again left my husband with only one choice as a gluten-free option, thankfully our waiter extended the dessert menu for him, offering him a selection of sorbet, ice cream and even a gluten-free cake option. He happily opted for two scoops of vanilla ice-cream for which he had to wait patiently until I took the photo.
I couldn’t resist the Apple Strudel with vanilla sauce for dessert – a wonderful Austrian classic!
D&D has done a fabulous job converting this grandiose space into a stunning venue and I’d love to come back to try out the bar and grand cafe. While the food & service is not yet what we have experienced in other D&D restaurants in London, it is a gorgeous place with a nice history and theme to it!
The German Gymnasium, 1 King’s Boulevard, N1C 4BU