Leeds, York, Newcastle… Humpit has been slowly creeping its way north in recent years and has finally made its way to Scotland. The hummus and pitta specialists have found a new home in Potterrow, occupying the space where the Dome Cafe used to be (although the heat and eat station has stayed put). It’s first two days, with a special £2 pitta deal, saw queues stretching well beyond the confines of the cafe and almost out of the door. Such pandemonium, to an extent, is justified.
You are served very quickly at Humpit, with a create-your-own set up for the filled pittas that mirrors the likes of Bar Burrito. What this means is that hummus is perfectly optional – you don’t have to like Humpit’s flagship foodstuff to find something tasty here. Such a set up also means that they will cater easily for vegans. Gluten-free is also possible, and Humpit should be able to work around any food allergies. The staff see to your order with haste, making very clear what extras are free and which ones cost extra. Such optional delights include pickles, kale and – naturally – hummus.
The particular pitta sampled this time around was filled with hummus, red cabbage, tabbouleh, falafel, cauliflower, pickles and mixed beans, which came in a meal deal along with some peach tea. Mass produced hummus does run the risk of being somewhat tasteless, but this filled pitta was filled with flavour. The falafel especially is of a very high quality, and the whole pitta almost bursts at the seams with all its fillings. Not bad considering its reasonable pricing, in line with most of the other food you will find on campus.
Alternatively, they have a number of fixed dishes for you to choose from, such as the Shak-Shuka. This is a hot dish served on a plate with a slice of pitta on the side, consisting of a tomato sauce base, cooked aubergine, tahini sauce and fava beans. It is a small but powerful dish, with a hint of spice, and the crispiness of the aubergine skin is a particular delight. It is the kind of food that never fails to put a smile on your face as you are eating it, the only complaint being that it doesn’t last for long.
They offer a good selection of hot drinks and a small choice of desserts including a vegan lemon cheesecake. Some raw vegan snacks or smoothies, in particular, would have really sat well with the rest of the menu, and convince those with doubts that this is good food you can enjoy without guilt.
Humpit is still to make a permanent mark on campus, and won’t be challenging the status of Teviot nachos any time soon. However, they serve great food in their own right and it is refreshingly different to anywhere else nearby. They were welcomed onto the campus at Leeds University with open arms by both students and staff back in 2017, and there is no reason that they cannot do the same at the University of Edinburgh.
Photograph: Shannen Tioniwar