Established in 2005 by Christian Mouysset and Ronen Givon, a pair of university friends with a shared love of chickpeas, Hummus Bros’ mission could be summed up as the elevation of hummus from a tasty snack to the main event in a meal. Its permanently bustling Wardour Street branch certainly seems to have made headway there over the years as queues of hummus-hungry Londoners would attest. It therefore seemed a perfect candidate for my next restaurant review.
As the name suggests, Hummus Bros’ menu revolves around that great Middle Eastern staple, hummus. Made by blending chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon & garlic, hummus has been gaining in popularity in the UK over the past few years. Hummus Bros claim to have developed the perfect blend, which they then serve in generous bowlfuls, topped with any one of a variety of toppings and served with wholemeal pita bread for dipping (1 pita with a small portion and 2 pitas with a large). This was my dining partner’s first hummus meal experience and she went for Hummus Bros’ most popular topping of warm grilled chicken marinated in a delicious blend of tomato & delicate spices. Having enjoyed the chicken dish on several previous visits, I decided to try something new, and opted for a topping of sautéed mushrooms and caramelised onions. I was delighted by the juicy mushrooms which had absorbed the full flavours of their herby, garlicky marinade but still retained a pleasant hint of nuttiness. I was slightly disappointed with the onions though – they were soft and succulent but sadly far from caramelised. As to whether Hummus Bros’ hummus is the perfect example of the genre, I’d say that’s open to debate. It’s certainly wonderfully smooth and creamy but I personally found the taste to be a little over-garlicky at the expense of the chickpeas, which in my view ought to be the dominant favour.
Having both gone for small portions of hummus, my dining partner and I also each chose a side salad to accompany our meal. My dining partner’s Mixed Vegetable Salad was a crunchy mix of enticing looking cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, and onion with a parsley & vinegar dressing. My own Greek Salad was almost identical but had the added benefit of a healthy handful of crumbled barrel aged feta cheese sprinkled over the top which gave the salad a rich, creamy saltiness that I thoroughly enjoyed, and a different dressing of oregano and olive oil which added to the Mediterranean feel.
Hummus Bros offers soft drinks only, but with light lunch food such as this that’s really all that’s required. My dining partner & I were both impressed by the invigoratingly fresh home-made mint & ginger lemonade which we savoured to the very last sip. There are some extremely tempting desserts on the menu, such as baklava or malabi (a milk based dessert with date honey), but with such a filling main event neither my dining partner nor I could quite fit one in. We did, however, greatly appreciate the small complimentary glass of fresh mint tea we were given before the bill was brought over. As for the bill, in terms of value, Hummus Bros isn’t unreasonable but it’s by no means the cheapest lunch in town, with a main, a side & a soft drink coming to around £13 per head excluding tip (though prices are lower if you lunch midweek). With its large shared tables and long wooden benches, Hummus Bros does have a slight school canteen air about it, but the atmosphere is relaxed, the service is efficient and relatively friendly, and the food is far better than any canteen offering. As an interesting option for a light bite lunch in London, we rate Hummus Bros as a “well worth a visit” three and a half Forks-Up.
Hummus Bros 88 Wardour Street London W1F 0TH T: 020 7734 1311