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A trendy Southwark joint serving southern Chinese cooking.
Tucked away in a railway arch, Numnum is the sleek, revamped antithesis of its heritage exterior, boasting a white corrugated ceiling, contrasting navy-painted walls and funky pink neon signage. The food here is delicious, plus it comes in hefty portions for the price. Just order at the counter and take a seat.
Dan dan noodles were a treat: the springy noodles came topped with cuboids of spongy pressed tofu and mellow carrot, with woody mushrooms, two hunks of pak choi and sesame paste adding an earthy freshness. It was revitalising, delivering a warm hit of spice while not being too hot.
A dish of kung pao chicken, meanwhile, was rich and moreish. The thick gravy-like sauce clung to the beautifully cooked boneless thigh – with a scattering of buttery cashews – and the opulence was offset by big bits of spring onion. A cluster of beansprouts mixed with carrots added much-needed lightness, while the wild ‘purple’ rice was fluffy and well cooked.
Numnum doesn’t skimp on sides. The flavours of the handmade dumplings were expertly balanced with subtle egg and not-so-subtle hits of chive. The smashed cucumber salad was a wonder: interspersed with tender wood ear mushrooms, then pimped with flecks of chilli, oil, garlic and coarsely cut coriander.
Aside from the friendly service, Numnum has plenty of nice touches to keep you sweet, like free fortune cookies and unlimited, complimentary green tea. The only low point was the lack of atmosphere: the result of not having nearly enough people for such a roomy space. Hopefully, that will come with time. A lovely spot for a cheap, hearty lunch, Numnum is sure to have you saying ‘yum yum’
81 Scoresby St
|Price:||Lunch for two with drinks and service: around £30.|
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