Going Ga-Ga over Numnum, Southwark

05 May 2019

Embarrassingly, I confess I sometimes slip into baby talk. I’ll see a cute dog in the street, I’ll ask my boyfriend to pass me a spoon or I’ll be talking to a young child and out it slips; all of a sudden I’m a cringe-worthy mess of gaa-gaas and goo-goos - it’s disgusting.

I also get a case of the baby talk around food, which is why I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing visiting a place with the name Numnum.

The Numnum in question has brought Sichuan street food to London. When they first hit the ground they were a tiny pop-up on Brick Lane, the land of all great pop-ups, but now they occupy space under the railway track in Southwark.

Is Sichuan street food the street food London has been missing? Well, if the smashed cucumber and wood ear mushrooms salad (£3.50) is anything to go by, then I’d say so, yes.  This simple dish was like nothing I’d ever had before, I felt like a baby eating chocolate for the first time (whether I spilt it down my lap and had it all over my chin is another story). The small bowl of cucumber and mushroom chunks were soaking in a dark sauce and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds; not the prettiest dish on the table I’ll be honest, but bitter salty and tangy in the best possible way.

Even if Numnum wasn’t decorated with neon signs, geometric tiles and navy paint you’d still think it was cool because (for some reason) anything housed under a railway arch is cool. The industrial feel, the open space, the trains passing overhead giving the walls more shake, rattle and roll than an Elvis hit just gives a space its ‘edge’.

Next for the small plates was the self-professed ‘best dumplings in London’ (£3.50), three vegetable packed parcels, all hot and crispy. It’s easy to do dumplings, but it’s not easy to do them well, and Numnum does them really well, they had the kind of flavour to make you go wah-wah for more.

When it came to the noodles, Oh Mama, were the Dan Dan Noodles (£8) good. The bowl was so huge, I felt tiny and the noodles were so long and messy I felt like I needed supervision and a bib to eat them. The sesame paste gave the noodles a great texture, they were almost sticky, and there was an abundance of spicy flavours from the peppercorn which matched nicely with the silken tofu.

Numnum has created a place that works in many ways, but regardless of the facts that two can easily dine for under £20, they’re dedicated to reducing food waste and you’re served in a jiffy, Numnum is so yum yum, I’d spit my dummy out if I couldn’t go here again.

So that’s all from me pooki-pies, bye-bye for now.

Lindsey

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