Lilys Umami – Savoury Chinese Pancakes

Lily’s Umami on Goose Gate in Hockley in the space formerly occupied by Chicken Licious and Flavour Bites has recently opened.

On their Facebook page they describe themselves as “A modern take on a Chinese takeaway, serving wraps, Bento lunchboxes, bubble teas and pure teas”

I had seen the sign on the front for a while now as I walked up and down that hill in Hockley and wondered when it would finally spring into life.

This weekend I found the doors open and I was in there to check them out

The Menu board at Lily’s Umami was offering up Chinese classic savoury wrap. It looked a lot like a street food snack I had sampled in the Dongmen Pedestrian Market over in Shenzhen some years back. I had really enjoyed eating that and hadn’t really seen one since in Nottingham, I was so getting one of those 🙂

Essentially the wrap is like a ‘Chinese’ Dosa wrap hybrid typically made with a ‘Thin fried egg base, a scatter of scallions, a smudge of rich chilli sauce, lettuce or cilantro (coriander) leaf filling and a crunchy centre of crisp fried dough called Baocui (薄脆).”

This one here at Lily’s Umami was described on the menu as being filled with ‘spring onion, egg, lettuce, sweet pepper and crisp with sweet bean sauce’ so it was pretty much the same thing

They had a meal deal, which was a wrap with any basic tea (or pure tea as they call it) for £5.99. So I was thinking that first time in I might as well give that a whirl.

The actual wrap was pretty large, much bigger than I had expected. It was bigger than my hand and I was kinda wondering whether I needed some utensils to work my way through this.

In the end though I just picked it up IN BOTH HANDS and tucked in, or rather chomped my way in.

Once you get into the middle you can see the layering created as the whole thing is folded up around itself to create that ‘wrap’. It was simple yet tasty, and it has a great mix of texture as you eat it, the soft eggy crepe like layers and the thin crisp crunchy fried dough creates a great bite.

You get somewhat distantly familiar flavour from the Sweet Bean sauce, it is the main taste and is slightly salty, slight sweet, kind of a bit like a sweet soy sauce. I suppose that makes sense as it is made from fermented soy beans. I liked it.

If I had chosen to add some of the optional ingredients from the ‘create your own’ section of the menu then I might have ended up with a more exciting looking cross section.

I might well have considered adding in some of the ‘Chinese Shanghai Sausage’ for another £1.49 and perhaps the ‘unlimited extra vegetables’ as well for ‘another’ 99p.

Then it might have looked a little more like the picture on the big TV menu and perhaps would have been a lot more interesting

Having said that, I quite liked the ‘basic’ version

The other option they were pushing was an Egg waffle with ice cream. I wish that I had a ‘sweet tooth’ as this did look pretty on the menu picture. I managed to resist, although if they had added some bacon and some maple syrup and maybe an egg? (and removed the ice cream)  🙂

Lily’s Umami was an interesting little spot, it seemed quite busy and is another great addition to this part of town.

It is really becoming quite a little Asian Town now in Hockley with all these spots opening up. I am loving it!

Lily’s Umami is located at 21 Goosegate in Nottingham, just down the slope in Hockley opposite the ‘Larder on Goosegate’

Check them out on their  Facebook page and  Twitter feed 




For the record this is the ‘wrap’ that I got a the Dongmen Pedestrian Market

You can read all about that and how it was made over at MyFoodHunt here


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