Dr Desi (April 23, 2007)
Give Peas a Chance!
How many brothers does it take a screw in a light bulb? Two it seems, as Ronen and Christian hit upon a fabulous idea of serving Hummus to hungry lunchtime (and dinnertime) clientele. Ronen and Christian, though, aren't actually brothers. But who cares? Their Hummus, which they spent months perfecting, tastes so special they had to open a restaurant dedicated to the dish!
Allowing Hummus its very own solo performance might seem unusual; most of us are familiar with it as a rather stodgy side dish or dip that comes in those plastic tubs found on supermarket shelves. Although never so tasteless as to be inedible, little did I realise that Hummus could taste so much better! The idea began whilst these two were at university after a typical student meal consisting of leftover hummus and pitta bread. Taking themselves seriously, these guys decided to see if the idea would work and so began battling the elements at markets around the country to have people critique their special recipe, that now, appears to be paying dividends, and indeed, quite demonstrative of their creative and original approach.
In their restaurants, too, every detail is considered, of which the most impressive was the use of garlic, which Ronen tells me, gives the hummus a bitter taste over the course of a few hours if it is added during preparation (and hence why it is served separately with lemon). More impressive though, is the taste and the texture. Having entirely perfected the consistency to create the smoothest of veneers, there is an ever so subtle nuttiness in the Hummus (the generous use of Tahini, I presume!) that gives it so much character. Chilli, which is served alongside the Hummus, seems also rather unusual for Hummus, but has the right amount of intensity to add to the depth and complexity of the dish.
The toppings, too, while being an idea seldom tried before, add a whole new dimension to the Hummus. Serving only a small selection of around six or seven of these; from chickpeas to guacamole to beef, the Hummus Bros. have hit upon a tasty winner and certainly a brilliant alternative to the usual lunchtime fare. Especially impressive are the hot toppings, such as the Fava Bean and Stewed Beef. If you're really nice, they'll even put two toppings on the Hummus (a classic favourite of mine is half Fava Bean and half Guacamole, which is a nice combination of hot and cold, chunky and smooth). They also have a large repertoire of seasonal specialties (I really miss the now out of season Aubergine soup!) that do the rounds on a weekly basis. Put together, all of these toppings, either alone, combined or eaten with one of the fresh salads on offer, make for quite a hearty and certainly, very nutritious meal.
Surely though, this emphasis on veggies can only be a good thing when considering the whole trend towards healthy eating and food sourcing; both of which are issues that these guys have taken seriously through offering a low fat Hummus and even operating a Carbon neutral scheme - how's that for corporate social responsibility?!
These guys, with their own creative process, have taken their restaurant to new heights. Their constant search for new toppings has led to some interesting, bizarre and quite wonderful ideas and an appetite so insatiable, they've even made a call for suggestions from customers!
The food at Hummus Bros is indulgent satisfaction at its most potent! So if you're looking for something original, something filling and definitely something cheap, pay these guys a visit - they'll make it worth your while!
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