Although I am German and I have lived in London for seven years I actually never been to a German restaurant in London. Can you believe it? When I was asked to offer my opinion on the Stein’s in Kingston I was excited to finally try out the Bavarian cuisine on the other side of the pond.
Stein’s Kingston is the second venue of Stein’s. The outdoor venue in Richmond turned out to be an incredible success, so that the owners Bele and Reinhard Weiss were looking for a second location. The idea was to combine the outdoor experience with an authentic indoor venue. What better location to open such a place than right upon the River Thames?
It used to be a small tea room, but it’s hard to tell its past since an architect transformed the old Victorian cottage into the cosy chalet styled restaurant it is today. Every item was selected and imported from Germany and Austria and the effort clearly paid off: It’s an authentic Bavarian atmosphere.
My friend Moni and I met outside the restaurant, it is only a few minutes to walk from Kingston Station and easy to find. Upon arrival we were greeted by a lovely receptionist and could choose between a table outside or inside. Of course we wanted to sit on the terrace and enjoy the view of the river. Our table was parallel to the Thames and as the terrace’s level is higher than the river we had a great view of the bypassing boats and landscape.
The waitress quickly came to give us the menu and took our drink orders. I didn’t feel like drinking alcohol and instead of drinking German beer, I ordered a diet coke and my friend still mineral water.
The menu is great, a friendly introduction on the first page from the owners and an autumn menu, followed by lots of German dishes. It took me a while to choose, so many great dishes, and you can’t order it all, can you?
As a starter we chose Obatzda, it’s a savoury cheese spread speciality served with radish and a Bretzel. The starter costs £7.50 and is suitable for vegetarians. The Bretzel is freshly baked and tasted delicious. I had a hard time finding nice Bretzels in London, but today I did.
My main course was a Wiener Schnitzel with potato salad. I am not a huge fan of potato salad, you know the one that you can buy in the supermarket? It’s full of artificial flavours and tastes horrible. The potato salad at Stein’s is freshly prepared and tastes amazing. I ate it all up before actually eating the Schnitzel. The Schnitzel was delicious, thin and tender and all in one was it a huge portion for £15.40.
Moni, my friend, ordered Käsespätzle. Käsespätzle are a German noodle speciality from the County Schwaben and mixed with cheese and onions. It is suitable for vegetarians, my friend Moni actually is one, and costs £10.40. A thumbs up from Moni for the dish.
The portions are huge and neither of us could eat a bit more, but seeing the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte on the menu, we couldn’t resist and decided to share a piece of it. A piece costs £3.95 and again, it is huge. Sometimes the strong taste of Kirsch liquor puts me off the cake but here it was just right. My friend Moni agreed.
Good service is very important to me. Bad service can ruin the best meal, however the service was nothing but outstanding. Several members of staff regularly checked up on us, even though the restaurant was full and a private party was celebrating on the second level of the restaurant. The location is great, easy to find and just by the river. It makes a great location to enjoy a cold German beer in summer and I can’t wait to return on a sunny day. If there is one downside to the restaurant, then it is that I live so far away from it. I would also recommend people planning to go to book a table in advance. Spaces are limited and you don’t want to miss out on a busy Saturday night.
The restaurant is located at 56 High Street, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 1HN and tables can be booked on 020 85462411. Please let the staff know if you bring a pushchair, require a high chair, wish to sit on the terrace or inside and whether you want to smoke on the terrace. The nearest rail station is Kingston and the 458, 459, 515 and 801 bus lines stop close to the restaurant. If you have any enquiries, please email Stein’s at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Have a look at the website here.