Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sir Hummus

They tell me they didn’t even announce the opening – just tore down the paper covering the windows, a gesture to their neighbourhood that they were open, that everyone was welcome. Six months later and you can still tune in to those local vibes: you’re sat on a corner, at the window, looking out whilst you scoop up your hummus. And you must look as charming as you feel because the people passing are smiling back.

And you’re smiling too because you have wonderful hummus in front of you, and where, really, can you just go somewhere for a bowl of hummus? And you enjoy the feeling that this is a place to eat really slowly, that it doesn’t matter that you’re alone, no one’s making a gimmick of it, that you’re not alone anyway; not really, because you’re at a neighbourhood place.

And that hummus you’re smiling into is made of 5 ingredients only, has a 10-hour boiled egg on it and a swirl of parsley, olive oil and za’atar, which, by now, we all know is a spice because Ottolenghi told us so. To scoop it up (because hummus is a hands thing. It’s also, I learned, a breakfast thing in the Middle East), you have a basket of warm pitta bread and, to freshen it all up, a bowl of beet salad and the ‘special sauce’.

And it seems to be that easy: make sure you’re really good at making one dish. And maybe have a nice corner spot in de pijp to eat it in.

About that egg, though, because of course I asked: they call it a ‘magic egg’ for its creamy yolk rather than your standard way-too-long-hard-boiled-egg. And it was. The whole thing a very creamy, mellow affair. In fact, my comment at the time was that perhaps the hummus was a little too mellow. It could have done with a little acidity, a sharper olive oil or a little lemon (throwing my beet salad into the fray worked just as well). I was told that, next time, I should ask for the behind the counter sauce. Good answer.

You can find Sir Hummus on the Van der Helstplein 2 in Amsterdam.

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