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What do you think of when you imagine German food? Is it a pile of sauerkraut accompanied by a variation of wurst? Does your belly start to rumble when thinking of German food, or would you much rather be dreaming of another cuisines? Italian. Mexican. Thai. Anything but German? Do you even know what German cuisine really includes?
Up until last week I, quite frankly, didn’t have a clue what German cuisine entailed. Sausage and cabbage was about as far as I got. I’ve never considered Germany as a country with an interesting food scene, nor have I ever found myself really wanting some German foods in the way I do with Mexican.
That all changed when Zomato held their #ZomatoMeetUp at Bierschenke last week!
Bierschenke is a large German restaurant near Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations. It’s frequented by city boys and, inportantly, German expats. Serving delicious, traditional cuisine and refreshing Bavarian beers, Bierschenke is the perfect spot for an evening catch up with friends after work. There’s plenty of tables, and none are so crowded together that you’ll feel claustrophobic like in many central London bars.
Entering Bierschenke with no idea what to expect from the evening, I was more than pleasantly surprised by the time I left.
A soft, warm pretzel and light, refreshing beer in hand within minutes of stepping in the German Bierkeller, my appetite was sufficiently prepared for an evening of Bavarian beet and cuisine.
In April 1516, the “Reinheitsgebot” was adapted throughout Bavaria. This “purity law”, which determined that only barley, hops and water may be used to brew beer (yeast too is now allowed), is still observed by German brewers today.
Trying six different beers over the course of the evening, we were treated to beers varying in body, depth and taste.
The Bierschenke Lager, a bottom-fermented lager which is characterised by its light yellow-golden colour, was my favourite of the evening It had a fruity yet caramel-y taste and wasn’t too fizzy. It’s also unique to Bierschenke who created three signature beers in collaboration with German brewery Müller Bräu.
Other highlights of the evening included another signature beer. The Bierschenke Kellerbier is spicy and smooth with a sweet finish and darker in colour than the larger as you’d expect.
Looking for something even more distinctive? Then you should opt for the Schlenkerla Rauchbier (or as we renamed it that evening: “Beer Ham”). This beer smelled of boiled smoky ham and is a dark, aromatic larger which I’d definitely recommend trying!
When the sharing platters arrived there table erupted in “oohs” and “ahhs”. The size of the platters was completely unexpected and my mouth started watering. In front of us we had one platter of; roasted pork shank, meatloaf, Nürnberger sausages, Bratwurst, bread dumpling, potato dumpling, sauerkraut, red cabbage and gravy and another including; Schnitzels, Bratwurst, Nürnberger, Frankfurter, Debreciner, creamy mushroom sauce, chips and mash.
Vegetarians don’t despair – Bierschenke’s got your back! The veggies amongst us were treated to a huge platter of deep fried cheese, spinach pastries, sauerkraut, creamed corn and more. Incredibly, unexpectedly delicious.
Whilst yes, there was a lot of meat and sauerkraut, the differing textures and flavours was the key. The numerous types of wurst all had very unique flavours and textures and all were delicious. Nothing was dry as can sometimes be the case with poorly prepared schnitzels and wursts, the opposite in fact: everything was extremely flavoursome.
Never having heard of most of these sausages before, the Debreciner a fine pork sausage with a reddish-orange colour was my particular favourite. heavily spiced with paprika and other spices such as garlic and marjoram these are far better than your average sausage offering (haha…).
It didn’t stop with the mains though. Bierschenke had some tasty dessert options in store for us too. We gorged ourselves on apfelstrudel, “Kaiserschmarrn“ (a traditional cut-up sugared pancake with apple sauce), and topped the sweet treats off with Bieramisu; Bierschenke’s take on the Italian tiramisu. Just as good, if not better than the real thing!
Bierschenke wowed me with their beers and food and I’m already planning to go back! It truly is the perfect place to get together after work due to the size of it’s downstairs seating area. They hold various events throughout the year including Beer tasting evenings, Sausage Fest, brunch special in June and live music every Saturday from their Oompah band!
Make sure to check out Bierschenke and give German cuisine the attention it deserves!