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Tuesday, July 31, 2007




Kurtz & Lang


On the street he spied my face I heard him hail
In our plot of frozen space he told his tale



There is a phenomenon known as the “Restsina Paradox”. You may have heard of it. It’s where you enjoy something whilst on holiday, so much so that you want to enjoy it all over again in Blighty (in my case the rough spirit and cheap local vino collapso which I am very fond of). Unfortunately, the context in which you enjoyed it for the first time is different when you’re in Romford, Rhyl or Rotherham.

My thoughts on this were prompted after a visit to Berlin earlier in the year where DH indulged in the Currywurst. This is a dish of no refinement or nutritional value but one which is the nuts when consumed at an Imbiss with a cold beer standing under the U-Bahn in East Berlin. Context is all here (or is that hier ?).

An odd little hole in the wall joint called Kurtz & Lang has been occupying a corner location in London’s trendy Clerkenwell for several months. It does a wide range of Wurst (but no option to get them Mit/Ohne Darm) and accompaniments. You can also get a beer. So what’s not to like ? Well the prices for a start. When I told my Berliner colleague how much I’d spent on a simple Currywurst there was much swearing in German. The only word I made out was “Scheissendreck” which I don’t think is good. The other problem was that it wasn’t a Currywurst as I knew and loved it in Berlin. The wurst may have been perfectly good but the sauce was too gloopy. I passed on the tired looking sautéed potatoes for some sauerkraut which was ok. Pommes Frites would have been an improvement. Context or just dreck ? You decide.

With only one other customer present there was a nice feeling of desolation and quiet desperation about the place which was probably authentically East German. I gave a little shiver, scanned the surroundings for any loitering Stasi and nipped round the corner to Vinoteca.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Krista said...

I had a similar experience a few months ago. I was so depressed and disgusted by my currywurst, I couldn't bring myself to write about it. Also, although I too was just one of two people in the shop, getting the attention of the young staff was not easy. I like the idea of Kurz & Lang, but the execution is flawed.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 12:50:00 pm  
Anonymous London Restaurant said...

Completely agree, especially about the gloopy sauce. It tasted bought in from a cheap cash and carry, very salty and no heat at all. Also agree on the prices. I went there on a recommendation as also have a thing for wurst and sauerkraut following German holidays, but it was just a bit pointless. In part your right about context, but also it just wasn't very good.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007 11:40:00 pm  

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