Asparagus Dies in London

White Asparagus David Lat

If you ask any German about white asparagus, a strange light will shine in their eyes.

They'll remember sumptuous meals cooked by their Mums with Schnitzels surrounded by these beautiful while vegetables swimming in a lush Hollandaise. They'll be able to smell the new potatoes, and will start salivating like Pavlov's dogs. They'll do anything to secure this Manna.

They will even trot back to the City on the weekend to partake of this feast, even if it's offered in a questionable basement that is supposed to be a Bavarian bierkeller.

But for those of you familiar with the ‘gemuetlich’ thing in a German Bierkeller, be advised you will not find that here, so don't even try. There are the uncomfortable benches, as there would be on the Wiesn in Munich, but the place is so sparsely furnished that even a motley crew of seven on a table who all had looked too deeply into their Krug by 8pm were a nuisance to others. With nothing to absorb the sound, the noise level was simply too high, and with the shouting and the loud music, the wait for the Manna was very long indeed.

Then the plates appeared: Huge Schnitzels on which sat few measly asparagus spears drowned in sauce. The sauce looked very much like it had sprung from a packet - a ghostly yellow rather than the rich, unctuous sauce my tastebuds had in mind. But then it really got bad: the kitchen had confused the cooking of German asparagus with English asparagus. German had to be painstakingly peeled, otherwise it is inedibley tough. And guess what? This was.

My polite friends tried their English best, and sucked them out delicately. What a picture! The fresh potatoes here came as kind of fried, and the Schnitzels also had made the acquaintance of a deep fryer. They were so greasy it was deplorable. Sadly, I could not eat this lest it destroy my dream of delicate white asparagus blessed by a perfect Hollandaise forever.

But I suppose seeking such delicacy in a Bier Keller was foolish, really, so I’ll wait till a clever London German restauranteur serves it in the swish style is deserves.