A stein time on Kingston Riverside
Hot on the heels of my recent trip to Germany to visit Lubeck, the home of marzipan, we thought it a good idea to check out our local German hostelries, so headed over to Stein’s in Kingston. Boy, am I glad we did! It is a lot easier than travelling to Germany.
I had only really heard of Stein’s on Richmond riverside, which is a beer garden and obviously somewhat dependent on our lovely British weather. But the Kingston site is open all year round. Also situated on the riverside, along from the Rose Theatre, it has a great atmosphere. There is a terrace overlooking the river and inside it is modern, stylish, (not surprising as one of the owners is a very successful architect!) yet cosy and very welcoming. Stein’s has also recently opened another branch in South Kensington, Stein’s Berlin in Prince’s Gate – worth remembering if you are visiting the Royal Albert Hall or the museums.
Seated on benches, and admiring the lovely timber-clad interior while surveying the menu, I ordered a glass of Heidlinger Summer Breeze – a very pleasant dry organic white wine (very reasonably priced at £20.90 a bottle.) They also have a Burg Ravensbury Riesling – again organic – at £24.90. My husband had a glass of Erdinger Dunkel Weissbier (dark wheat beer from Bavaria). All draft beers can be served in a giant 1 or 2 litre boot shaped glass, should the urge take you!
The menu offers something for all tastes. Needless to say, there is an excellent selection of sausages and schnitzels, but if they don’t float your boat there are lots of other interesting options.
My husband started with a bowl of goulash soup and I couldn’t resist the red herring salad with beetroot apple and cream. The soup was declared delicious and the salad: wow! The portions at Stein’s are very generous, so be warned not to have ‘eyes bigger than your tum’ and get carried away. My salad was absolutely amazing.
Now, as it’s asparagus season, they had a specials menu offering German white asparagus that they import directly. I opted for the Black Forest Ham, with white asparagus, new potatoes and Hollandaise sauce. It was a great choice, but to be honest, I was so full after my lovely starter, I didn’t manage many of the lovely potatoes, but the ham was very tasty, smoky and paired beautifully with the asparagus. My husband chose the Nuernberger sausage platter – six small pork sausages from the famous Bavarian town served with warm sauerkraut, mash and salad garnish. I didn’t get much of a look in, to be honest, as it was so swiftly consumed, but I managed a taste of the mashed potato, which he was raving about, and indeed it was really smooth and creamy.
We saw other people having food that looked equally tempting (noted for our future visits). A mini cheese fondue was great fun and the schinitzels ... well! They are enormous (and half price for many of them on Monday evenings). Stein’s also has a set menu available weekdays till 5.30 (£11.50 for two courses, £13.50 for three).
With no room for anything else to eat, Bele, Stein’s lovely owner (and Twickenham resident), suggested we join her with a glass of Schnapps. There’s a massive choice of fruit infused varieties, and you can even opt for a wooden board with one of all seven - great fun for a large gathering! Bele told us that her background is, in fact, in IT, but she and her architect husband Reinhard had spotted the Richmond site and – on a whim (as one does!) - decided to open a beer garden on Richmond Riverside. We are very lucky that they did, and I would urge you to check out one of the three branches – I know we will be back soon. Prost!