This must be a turn up for the books for any vegetarian or vegan readers of this blog, after the many previous meat-heavy entries (including, of course, the last entry which actually entitled “Meat“.)
On the recommendation of my beloved Spanish teacher Vero, Ruairidh and I had come to La Hummusería the first week we arrived here. So, when it came to picking somewhere for Markus and I to go for dinner the Friday night of his visit, the memories of how great it had been returned for inspiration, and then all it took was some persuasion. Markus is from a tiny village in Southern Germany where they have huntsmen who supply the populus with wagon-loads of meat (some of this is true) and took some persuading to come round to the idea we were going to have a satisfactory Friday night dining experience on chickpeas alone.
Unassumingly perched on top of a car park on Calle Hernán Cortés in Chueca, you ascend the stairs and enter La Hummusería through a cheery, sunshine-yellow facade. It’s cosy and chintzy in all the right ways, with mismatching furniture and a mezzanine level with wooden bannisters. As you can perhaps imagine, it is full of people with tattoos, dermal piercings, and those cute very short fringes everybody has here.
The first time I’d come they’d been full but promised a phone call once a table was available, and gave us a shot of something to see us on our way. This time, we got a table straight away (or, rather, sofas) and a little bowl of pickled leaves with cumin seeds on top to accompany the bottle of red wine we ordered. (It also looks like the cocktails are great, including some made with their homemade lemonade.)
The concept is simple: there are five different types of hummus to choose from, and they come with warm pitta bread. They also do tapas which change regularly. We selected a couple of these – roast peppers and feta, and a salad with chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, and herbs. For the main event, I picked La Matbuja – hummus with roasted tomato sauce – and Markus opted for El Irresistible, with pine nuts and almonds. Markus also got an added boiled egg with his, the scamp, but he was on his holidays after all.
Everything tastes very fresh, and all the herbs and citrus are so refreshing if you’ve been cutting about with croquettas and tortilla for a while. You get to feel virtuous about having picked somewhere healthy, and it’s super tasty. I’d recommend the salads on the side for the change of texture.
We were surprisingly full after Hummusfest 2016, and so had no room left for a dessert. But they did have a few to pick from, such as chocolate and banana cake, and, more curiously, sweet tahini with apple and nuts.
There’s a menu del día you can go for if you end up their at lunchtime on a weekday, which is 10,50 € for hummus, a tapas, a drink, and a dessert or coffee.
This fab spot is run by a couple from Israel, who arrived here, fell in love with the city, hired some hipsters to help them out, and set up shop. It’s clearly working out, as La Hummusería celebrated its first anniversary in September, and can boast that it has no one- or two-star ratings on Tripadvisor at the time of writing. (There’s actually only two three-star ratings, and one of them is a woman who was disappointed because she didn’t realise that a restaurant called La Hummusería served, well…: “We realised that it was Houmous that was being served but didn’t realise that it was just a large dish of houmous which was houmous overdose!!”)
Address: Calle Hernán Cortés, 8 (Metro: Tribunal or Chueca)