hummus bros – Holborn
I like a hummus dip. It’s healthy and filling and easy to make. You can’t eat plates and plates of it though, and certainly not 10,452 kg worth, as is the weight in the Guinness World Records for the largest dish of hummus in the world which was made in Lebanon last year. According to local media, the recipe included 8 tons of boiled chick peas, 2 tons of tahini, 2 tons of lemon juice and 70 kg (154 lbs) of olive oil.
I think most people enjoy hummus, don’t they? Its become part of that new wave self-care Mediterranean food lifestyle letsbegoodtoourselves thing, along with goji berries and, erm… watercress.
hummus bros have three stores in London: Soho, Holborn and St. Paul’s where they specialise in bowls of houmous topped with a variety of ingredients, from succulent chicken thighs with paprika to a refreshingly zingy guacamole, all served with warm, doughy pitta bread (some of the best pitta I’ve tasted).
The concept is straightforward, hummus is served as a base and the customer can chose their topping. A small bowl holds 100g of hummus and 100g topping while a regular bowl can hold 150g of hummus and 150g of topping. I decided on hummus with chunky beef that had been sautéed and slow cooked and seasoned with sea salt, pepper, parsley, paprika and garlic and served with plum tomatoes. It was good, the beef was soft, rich with flavour and the garlic and paprika helped to lift the dish while bringing the hummus to life (which I felt was quite strong and buttery). Together, the hummus and beef were nicely matched and the bowl transformed into a powerful stew with a Middle Eastern feel.
Alongside my bowl I ordered a Greek salad with plenty of Feta cheese (see above). The cold cucumber and olive oil aided in cleaning the palate and presented something a little lighter and fresher next to the beef. Other available sides include: Tabouleh (Levantine-style salad combining falafel balls with tomato and coriander salsa) and smoky aubergine (the aubergine is cooked on an open flame with tahini (sesame paste) and mixed with lemon juice, garlic and a myriad of fresh herbs).
Drinks, I believe, are what really set hummus bros apart from your typical high-street chains and junk fast-food outlets. Aloe vera juice looks invigorating but I opt for a fresh mint and ginger lemonade. It arrives with a tree of mint poking out, so much mint in fact that my breath stayed fresh for three-weeks afterwards. There was a lack of bite in the lemonade, despite its freshness, and it was difficult to highlight the fiery ginger.
Desserts are kept to three dishes: Malabi, Baklava and chocolate brownie. Upon recommendation by one of the brothers themselves (Christian Mouysset), I chose the Malabi, a milk-based dessert served with a deliciously rich and sticky date honey that really gave depth and flavour to the dish. A cracking dessert, beautifully presented and only £1.50. Finally I’m given a mint tea (again with fresh mints leaves) which warms the belly (and hands) before heading out into the January winds. Others around me are finishing up also and sipping their ‘digestive’ with adoration, each one reflecting a little character, from hot spiced apple juice to a blossoming jasmine tea.