A few months ago I’d read that a new hummus bar aptly named Humpit had opened in the Corn Exchange. With a recommendation from Andrew Critchett of Fish& fame, it would’ve been foolish of me to not want to seek this place out. But the usual stuff like work and life got in the way, a couple of months passed before I visited to find they’d shut up shop because they’d sold out!! Surely a good sign though? I’d also read some glowing reviews singing its praises which added to my need to get a fix of the good stuff as soon as possible!!
Fast forward to mid-December, Belgrave Music Hall’s Xmas Feast was on and Humpit were on the roster to trade that weekend. But having over-faced myself on food from other vendors, yeah, I know there’s no surprise there, I’d planned to go for lunch the following week instead.
Humpit is found on the ground floor of the stunning Corn Exchange, as the building is so beautiful I had a customary wander around both levels to take in the general splendour. It’s a must for me whenever I wander in for a nosey. What was fantastic was seeing all the spaces occupied by independent businesses, maybe the first time I can remember this happening in years!!
Opened for just three months, the place has quickly become a hot spot and has many regulars. Their menu has three core elements – hummus, pita and falafel, a simple concept which they seemed to have got down to a tee! Served in different combinations with different toppings. I went for the Humpit Classic – a bowl of hummus, with whole chickpeas, parsley, olive, paprika and a pita on the side and a glass of freshly made lemonade.
There’s the choice of eating inside or outside the shop, as they have a few outside tables, but I chose to stay in so I could take in the atmosphere of the interior a little more.
Being 100% vegetarian and vegan, this was another meal where I found myself not missing meat in the slightest!! Also I think for the price it’s a bargain, the portions are generous, extremely satisfying and filling.
You won’t get one of those solid, dry pita breads you get at the supermarket!! Without the facilities and space to make their own (maybe in the future?!), they took time to find a bakery to make them to their specific requirements resulting in a light and fluffy pita. Served warm it was perfect for carrying the hummus and the additional toppings.
In my limited experience of hummus eating, I think it’s some of the best hummus I’ve ever eaten, so smooth and creamy. Served warm, with a drizzle of olive oil it was delicious. I opted for a combination of three toppings – falafel, pine nuts and tahina, spicy salsa and finally mushrooms and onions. They all worked so well together! The salsa had a gentle kick, whole chickpeas were warm and comforting, then onions and mushrooms provided a woodiness and sweetness. Hold on, I mustn’t forget the falafel, with it’s golden brown crust, they were fantastic. I’m not normally the biggest falafel fan, probably because I’ve only ever eaten those awful rock hard bullets, usually I find them dry as a bone and fairly tasteless. These were the antithesis to those aforementioned falafel, I could see now that it’s no surprise their falafel in pita is such a popular seller! Made with lots of coriander and parsley, inside the falafel had a lovely greenness to them and great on flavour too.
The additional coriander and chilli paste gave another facet, livening it up with delicate heat and distinctive flavour. It was so yummy I couldn’t help dipping my fingers back in the bowl to get more after I’d finished my hummus bowl! All of this was washed down with lemonade that had tonnes of freshness and acidity, complementing the hummus by cutting through the richness and acting as a bit of a palate cleanser.
Being 100% vegetarian and vegan, this was another meal where I didn’t miss meat in the slightest!! Also I think for the price it’s a bargain, the portions are generous, extremely satisfying and filling.
While I was there, a steady stream of customers came and either filled up their tables, going in a similar direction to me with the Humpit classic, or happily ordered take-out with falafel in pita, which at £3.50 sounds like a bargain.
I’d definitely recommend Humpit, one to try any time, but even more so now that our pockets a little emptier after the festive season!!!
Food: short, simple menu with three core elements which work sold at very reasonable prices! My lunch was filling and tasty!
Service: lovely, friendly, helpful and informative. Waiting time is a matter of minutes.
Atmosphere: With a steady stream of customers visiting the place, there’s a good, busy feel to the Humpit. The staff are chatty and really friendly too. As the shop surrounds the main space of the Corn Exchange it benefits from the atmosphere that the rest of the building provides.
Disclaimer: my meal would have cost £7.50, but at the end of my lunch when I tried to pay it was refused and given complimentary, even when I said ‘no’. That being said as always my opinions are 100% honest, and I wouldn’t bother saying I loved it unless I really did!!