Review: Du & Ich Café, Wiesbaden

I’ve noticed, during my time here in Wiesbaden, that the second a new style of café opens its doors to the coffee-craving masses, a string of replicas follow suit.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course: a bit of competition never hurt anyone, and where I’ve seen bubble tea joints pop up and collapse again in six months or less (and I still have no idea what bubble tea is), I’ve also seen a series of French-style cafés emerge – Bastian’s, L’Art Sucré and Maison du Pain to name but three – that have become successful additions to Wiesbaden’s popular coffee and cake scene.

With Du & Ich opening in the centre of town a matter of months after the appearance of café and co-working space Heimathafen (located near the train station), one might be forgiven for suggesting that a wave of Berlin-inspired eateries might be on the horizon.  I suspect that in Wiesbaden, however, that may be jumping the gun, but in terms of more stylish, contemporary places to grab a bite or a hot drink in this town if you’re under 85 – or at least feel that way – things are finally looking up.

Du & Ich opened at the beginning of May, all concrete floors, fashionably muddy green walls and hip, youthful staff.  It’s a bright, airy space with huge windows and great dangling bronze baubles for lampshades – even the Mini Dietz’s highchair was a stylish retro contraption in shiny black and red.  The atmosphere’s laid back and friendly, with bouncy, enthusiastic staff who were a little slow, though I’ll assume that wrinkle has been ironed out since my visit (it was only day three of service).  Du & Ich is the sort of place you’d meet friends for a leisurely drink, have a quick lunch with colleagues, or sit alone with a coffee and a laptop.

The menu looked promising – straightforward and carefully laid out – and the stacks of bagels in the glass counter and pretty plates of pasta that sailed past as we chose our lunches made me hopeful that my chicken salad (Hähnchensalat, 9,00€, pictured above) would be a diversion from the usual German variation on a heap-of-leaves-drenched-in-balsamic-cream theme.

Sadly, however, that wasn’t the case, and a salad soup was exactly what was laid cheerfully before me; pan-fried slices of chicken breast stirred into a melange of lettuce, shredded carrot and chunks of cucumber and tomato, all drowned in a thick balsamic sauce.  How a team who had such a clear vision for an up-to-date lunch spot failed to devise a novel version of the depressing German salad I have no idea, but they’ve really missed a trick here.  S’s chicken bagel (4,90€) went down okay, but the point of our complementary oil-drizzled toast was lost on me.  All around us, however, that pretty-looking pasta was being hungrily devoured, and I rather wished I’d been able to order a plate of that instead.

Disappointing salad aside, Du & Ich is a very likeable place to hang out.  It’s far from Berlin levels of cool, but it’s a pleasing step in the right direction for our quiet little corner of Hessen.  One last thing, though: the ladies’ toilets.  I’ll let my hastily-taken snaps (above) do the talking because I cannot possibly do the tiled walls justice with words alone.  Let’s just say that yet again, I’m left utterly bewildered by German interior design.  It’s all too carefully arranged to be tongue in cheek so I can only assume it’s simply a massive error of judgement, though it does at least provide an entertaining trip to the loo – so long as you don’t mind your personal business being presided over by a handsome beardy chap in a scarf.  Let’s just hope that no-one else in Wiesbaden replicates that idea.

Du & Ich
Neugasse 18
65183 Wiesbaden

Website: Du & Ich (plus a Facebook page)

18 comments

  1. Texan in Wiesbaden

    I’d suggest going back for another visit. I love their chicken salad. It’s also got bell peppers (green, red & yellow). And I know what you mean by some places having too much dressing, but the salads I’ve gotten there didn’t leave any extra balsamic dressing on the plate when I was finished (not enough to drown the salad anyway).
    I believe the bread was for the salad. The other day the bread they brought us was tomatoe bread and red beat bread! Pretty good. Maybe these are things they’ve worked out since week one.
    I didn’t really mind the tiles in the bathroom either. A little flare of “chic” to go with the earth tones in the cafe.

    • Eating Wiesbaden

      Hello there, thank you for your comment! I will be going to Du & Ich again and I’ll have a sneaky peak at other people’s salads but unless they’ve changed it dramatically then I doubt I’ll give it another go. I suppose that as someone who has a pretty limited choice when it comes to lunch menus here (not being able to eat wheat), I’m just a bit bored of what I consider to be rather generic and uninspiring salads. Sometimes they’re ok, but I really didn’t think this was a very good version at all. Of course one of the reasons they’re the same almost everywhere is because a lot of people do like them like this, but unfortunately they’re just not my cup of tea, I’m glad you enjoyed it, though :)

      I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the bathroom tiles – but then, if we all had the same taste, the world would be a very boring place :)

      • Texan in Wiesbaden

        I get the balsamic-o dressing. Is it different that the balsamic cream dressing? Maybe that’s why we had a different experience with the salad.

        Lol. Good point on the boring world if we all had the same opinion. ;-)
        Did you try their different types if lemonade?

        • Eating Wiesbaden

          The dressing is just the standard one they use here, a slightly thick and creamy balsamic sort of dressing as opposed to balsamic vinegar. I had a lemonade there yesterday, actually, an enormous strawberry, mint and lime one. Very refreshing :)

  2. Anne

    This place sounds interesting… Perhaps we should have something to eat there some time seeing that they have stylish high chairs ;-) Maybe another choice from the menu would be more appealing. Or did they not have anything other than chicken salad that’s wheat-free? I’ve been having tile dilemmas myself… perhaps I should use their approach and put all the tiles I like on the same wall (no need to make a choice then!), think perhaps the men were a step too far even for an eclectic look ;-) Was lovely to meet you and mini Dietz on Monday!

    • Eating Wiesbaden

      Hi Annie, it was lovely to meet you too! We should absolutely go together sometime, but the salad was the only option for me, yes, so might I suggest we meet for coffee? ;) We can ask them where they got their tiles ;)

  3. foodessen

    I love the little three legged tables, very cute! I thought the balsamic cream thing was on its way out, I guess not. One thing about Germany is that when something in “in” then it’s really IN whether it’s a food, color or whatever. I always find that very interesting. In the U.S. things are in too of course but I don’t think it’s taken quite as far as it is here. I actually like the balsamic cream but prefer the one that’s a bit spicy :)

    • Eating Wiesbaden

      A spicy balsamic cream? Sounds interesting…!

      I don’t know, I think food trends are far more obsessive and full-on in the US than here – thinking about food fads from kale to cake popsicles, they seem to take over everything! You couldn’t look at a US food blog without seeing a kale chip last year ;) Whereas here… well, the trends seem to have a bit more longevity and are less faddish. The bubble tea shops were definitely a bit of a fad and fancy burgers are definitely now “in”, but I don’t think foods are ever really fashionable here in the same way as in the US. But I’m probably living in the wrong place for a clear idea of it, it’s very different, for example, and very obviously so, in Berlin. What do you think?

      • foodessen

        The spicy ones have added chili pepper, yum! I like that you mentioned the US food blogs with all the kale things, I wonder how many Americans actually made any of those things. I was making beet chips and sweet potato chips during that time, not quite kale but one American trying something new. I understand what you mean about the obsessive nature of things like kale chips and there was a real cupcake craze too! Here on the other hand Hugo & Spritz have been going strong for quite a while now. I think here in my small town trendy things probably stand out more than in a larger town like Wiesbaden :) and we don’t get as many of those trendy things either. Yes, trends do have longevity here that’s for sure and not always to my liking as I am not a fan of purple but the bakeries and butcher shops make it all better!

  4. Rachel

    There is the exact same trend in Munich, regarding cafes/restaurants. 2013 was all about burgers, 2014 has seen a wave of burrito joints popping up around town. I’m too old to remember what the fad was in 2012.

    Oh, and I love those bathroom tiles.

    • Eating Wiesbaden

      We’re only just getting started on the burgers here now, so I shall look forward to having a burrito in 2015. And if you want to, I am totally okay with you using the tile photos to print yourself a matching pillowcase/duvet set.

  5. bavariansojourn

    Those bathroom tiles are just incredibly special… Rachel you aren’t kidding about the burger places, but I do approve of a couple of them. I hear NY style hot dogs are now big in in London, I wonder how long it will take for them to be uber fashionable here (you cannot not include bratwursts obviously!)? :D

    • Eating Wiesbaden

      I would estimate 2017 ;) We’ve suddenly got burger places opening up left, right and centre round here… in fact one is opening up round the corner from where we live on Saturday – I’m trying very hard not to get excited about it.

  6. Pingback: The Weekly Shop: hot sun and strawberry lemonadeEating Wiesbaden

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