If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (i.e. before I moved to London and 99.9% of my posts became about the city I now call home), you’ll know that I have a lot of love for Berlin. You might say that I am a little bit obsessed. I love the abandoned places turned into something new, the street art, the bars, the museums and, very importantly, the food. In particular, the currywurst: a bratwurst sausage covered in curry sauce. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Last summer, I figured I’d have a go at recreating one of my favourite travel dishes at home. I made two attempts, neither of which bring back particularly fond memories. The first time I put in too much Worcestershire sauce and ended up adding in stock to try and mellow out the flavour. The result was a long lingering taste that I couldn’t get rid of and which tasted nothing like currywurst. The second time, I tried to add in spices in stages so that I could continually taste test the sauce to see how it was doing. Somehow, I went from having enough spices in there to having too much and in the end my experiment ended up in the bin. I have since realised that the best way to have currywurst at home is to just buy a bottle of Heinz Curry Sauce (maybe mixed with a little bit of Ketchup) and just dunk your sausages in that. But the best way to have currywurst is to eat out. Because currywurst may be a German delicacy but it’s not exclusively found in Germany. You can find it in London too. So I never need to try and make it myself again.
1. Herman ze German
Where: Charing Cross, Fitzrovia and Soho
Herman ze German is predominantly sausage-based eatery. It has a few London locations, including the one I visited on Villiers Street – near Charing Cross and Embankment stations. There was some indoor seating but it was busy and only small so I ordered my currywurst, with chips and sauerkraut, to go and took it over to the nearby Victoria Embankment Gardens. I know the picture doesn’t make it look great but that’s because I couldn’t stop myself from starting to devour it before I could take a photo.
Unfortunately, I’d had a very stressful day at work which had impacted my appetite (something that happens only very rarely to me) so my box of currywurst defeated me (something else that rarely happens). I’d gone with a friend who was trying to turn vegetarian (Herman ze German does have a veggie sausage option) but mine was so good that he actually took a night off and finished my leftovers.
2. World of Wurst
Where: Pop Brixton
World of Wurst is one of Pop Brixton’s multiple street food venues, which serves up the best of the world’s sausage delicacies and so, of course, currywurst is on the list. My currywurst was served just the way I remembered from Germany – in a cardboard plate. It came with a bread roll perfect for mopping up the sauce (even if chips are my favourite accompaniment) and I ordered a beer just to complete the German set. It didn’t taste exactly how I remembered – the flavour seemed stronger- but it was probably still one of the better currywursts I’ve had in my time.
3. Winter Wonderland
Where: Hyde Park
When: November – January
Christmas time brings with it an annual festive tradition in London: Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. Here you’ll find fairground rides and a German Christmas market – complete with German food stands selling – yes, you’ve guess it – currywurst. German Christmas markets are another local tradition I’m obsessed with so this place brings them both together. You can feast on currywurst and chips (or in my case a bread roll) until your heart is content, in between stocking up on stocking fillers in the market. I went with a friend who was actually from Germany. She went for a cup of tea while I ate my currywurst (we swapped cultural roles for a brief moment there) and she confirmed that Hyde Park’s attempt at a German market wasn’t a bad one – although she said in Germany there is generally more beer and less rides. I also thought the diverse soundtrack, including some Katy Perry, wasn’t exactly festive.