Brighton-based vegan restaurant, Smorl’s Houmous, Falafel, & Salad Bar, has taken over a space previously occupied by a butcher shop.
“In a rather symbolic turn of events, a former butchers shop in Brighton’s Open Market is now occupied by a vegan cafe,” Brighton Journal reports. Founded in 2014 by siblings Sarah and Christian, the plant-based restaurant specializes in serving housemade, organic food inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine. Diners can expect to find simple classics like falafel pitas and hummus platters. Creative options, such as the Mezze Cake, a savory dish that includes layers of falafel, eggplant puree, butternut squash puree, spicy tomato bulgur wheat, sun-dried tomatoes, and hummus, are also on the regular menu.
Sarah and Christian pride themselves on their organic hummus. In December 2016, the duo told The Independent that they make and distribute anywhere between 90 and 100 kilos of preservative-free hummus in the Brighton area weekly. At the time, Smorl’s offered its vegan options to customers out of a small table at Brighton Open Market. They describe their hummus, which is available in four flavors of varying garlic intensity, as “anti-supermarket.”
“You can buy a pot of insipid paste in the supermarket for a quid and it’s just not what it should be,” Christian said. “My sister worked for an Israeli guy in a tent in Glastonbury making hummus and falafel and they used a bicycle to grind the chickpeas in the middle of a field. She learnt an early recipe from him and has been playing with it ever since.”
Sarah’s experiments with that original recipe have led to the addition of an untraditional ingredient in their organic hummus. The siblings use kombu, an edible seaweed that is typically used to create umami-rich stocks in Japanese cuisine, in all of their spreads.
With a new location locked in, Christian and Sarah hope to take their Brighton vegan Middle Eastern restaurant concept across the country in the years to come.
Image Credit: Smorl’s