Simply Hummus is roughly two and a half metres wide, but a hummusiya (a hummus bar), like the ones found across Israel, don’t need much space.
Like the Israeli eateries, this Darlinghurst venue has only one dish: a plate of thick, delicious hummus served with a single turmeric-laced pita. There are a couple different toppings – like impossibly light falafel balls, spicy tomato salad, fennel seed and maple syrup-caramelised onions – but owner Yoash Dvir wants keep the menu simple and authentic.
The limited offering means getting the star ingredient right is essential. To perfect his recipe Dvir made 40 iterations and had friends taste test until they settled on one. It’s nutty and a little bit sweet, served spread on a small plate with a sprinkling of good za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice mix) around the edges, tahini in the centre and there’s a drizzle of paprika-laced olive oil on top.
To make the hummus, Dvir soaks nine-millimetre chickpeas overnight until tender. He gets his tahini (made from toasted ground hulled sesame) from a Lebanese supplier in Auburn, in Sydney’s west, and infuses his olive oil with an ingredient he won’t divulge. Lastly, cumin, salt and lemon are added.
Dvir wants to change the Australian perception of hummus; in Israel, hummus is considered as more of a dish than a dip. So how do you dip into the dish? Using a motion called l'nagev (to wipe), tear off a piece off pita and guide it through the waiting hummus with a flick. The shape should in the air should resemble a comma.
You might need a lot of flicks, and you're not guaranteed to finish it. Maybe the key to making something a dish is to have huge portion sizes.