From the team behind Gymkhana and Bao comes Hoppers, a fabulously unusual Sri Lankan eatery that’s opened on Frith Street where famous noodle spot Koya used to reside.
The décor is fab – colonial Sri Lanka, with lots of tiling and colour, wicker back chairs, pineapple plants and a hallway hung with Sri Lankan Raksha masks – to ward off evil!
Food-wise, you’ll be grateful for the glossary of terms included on the menu – I found myself referring to it for every dish, so unfamiliar were the dishes! But the unfamiliarity paid off, as all the food I’ve eaten at Hoppers has been delicious – spicy, spiced and rich, beautifully served on painted plates and hammered copper trays lined with banana leaves. This is eat-with-your-hands fare, so get stuck in! Black pork and lamb Karis were both incredible, scooped up with crispy dosa; a bone marrow Varuval, served with a delicious roti was the perfect “Short Eat” to start.
End on a sweet note with Love Cake or Watalapam, a steamed custard made with coconut milk, kithul jaggery and spices:
Cocktails haven’t been forgotten either, with the menu conceived by mixologist extrordinaire Matt Whiley. Expect lots of arrack and gin, with ingredients like cashew milk and papaya for a Sri Lankan twist.
This is Soho, so you won’t be surprised to hear this tiny restaurant doesn’t take bookings… Aim to arrive early or eat off-peak, and you should be fine. This is, however, a unique and awesome dining experience in a fab setting with great service, and it’s 100% worth the wait.
Expect to spend up to £25 per person on food.
Photos by John Carey.
49 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4SG