I recently sampled a feast of Mediterranean-inspired delights at Hummus Bros, a small chain of eateries located throughout central London. In between bites of my lunch, I scoped out the store and learned a bit more about the story behind the brand.
Hummus. That smooth creamy dip that’s the secret love of more than one legume-averse paleo foodie (c’mon, you know it!) And for good reason… it’s damn delicious.
If you’re a hummus devotee, let me introduce you to a phenomenal meal concept. A bowl lined with rich silky hummus around the base and sides, then filled with sauteed spiced chicken, chunky guacamole and a splash of tangy lemon juice. Followed by a bite-sized sweet potato falafel or two, dunked in the remaining hummus to wipe the bowl clean.
This is a typical meal at Hummus Bros, a small chain of eateries scattered throughout central London. (I am also told that this is the way hummus is traditionally served; spread around the bowl and topped with complementary fillings like meats, falafel, salads, nuts and olive oil.) Recently, I was invited to sample a (gluten free) Hummus Bros spread for lunch*, and to get to know a bit more about the story behind the food.
Hummus all round.
Hummus Bros was started by college friends Christian and Ronen, who wanted to create simple, nourishing and filling meals as an alternative to their bog standard convenience options like pizza. After perfecting their hummus technique testing it out at market stalls, the first Hummus Bros store opened in Soho in 2005. The boys were obviously on to something, as ten years on they’re still going, now with a total of five stores (the latest opening just a few weeks back, in Holborn) plus a funky cookbook, too.
The star of the menu is clearly the hummus bowl, which can be paired with a variety of intolerance-friendly options of carrot sticks, gluten free bread or corn tortilla chips (or you can have regular pitta bread). I would love to see a GF pitta there, but still, being able to have so much GF choice is pretty awesome, and the tortilla chips are really good. The falafel are also gluten free! Vegetarian and vegan friendly filling options are on offer too (I recommend the smoky eggplant). I also like that you can add extra veggies by ordering an individually-portioned side salad.
In addition to the hummus bowl, the store has expanded its menu to give you different options including wraps (not GF), soups and also my favourite, a (GF) quinoa and veggie salad box. Although I am sure that a place with “hummus” in the title isn’t your first port of call if you have digestive difficulty with legumes, the quinoa salad box does offer you a much lower-legume (or even no-legume) option. The chicken quinoa box comes with 2 small falafel and I’m sure you could skip these if necessary.
Close up of those sweet potato falafels with tzatziki. Noms.
I learned a couple more neat things about Hummus Bros during my visit. Firstly, they make their own hummus following a rigorous soaking and cooking process, which helps to improve the digestibility of the chickpeas and also ensures a creamy end result. Soaking your legumes correctly is important! Secondly, Hummus Bros also like to profile cool local brands in store and have a super snack range including Inspiral kale chips and Easy Bean crispbreads. (And… they make a pretty decadent tasting in-house GF brownie, too.)
I really enjoyed my trip to Hummus Bros (and have returned since). It’s so nice to network with people passionate about good, natural food and I’m always keen on places that give you healthy, convenient options. I hope you’ve enjoyed my review and are inspired to pop in and give Hummus Bros a try yourself! If you’re not nearby, don’t worry – you can make this amazing Mexican-style hummus bowl – pictured below – at home using a recipe I have adapted from the Hummus Bros cookbook. I am told this one is a best seller when it’s the in-store special! Get the recipe here.
*Disclaimer: I received a free lunch at Hummus Bros prior to writing this article. I then went back a second time to a different branch and paid for a lunch myself (+ my husband). We enjoyed it again the second time round and I can now confirm that the non-GF bits are also good!