To kick start the year of 2016, we went to Hoppers – the Sri Lankan restaurant in London’s Soho that everyone is crazy about. It’s a small cosy restaurant serving yummy food that’s different to anything else you’d find in London right now. Hoppers is opened by the same behind Gymkhana and Trishna – so we had high expectations when we turned up. We were not disappointed! Each element of every dish we tried was cooked to absolute perfection!
Hoppers doesn’t take reservations. But a nice lady is at the door to take down your name and number, and will let you know how long your wait will be roughly. You can then go away for a coffee or a spot of shopping, and you’ll get a text to say your table is ready. You’ll then have 10 minutes to get back to the restaurant with everyone in your party there to be seated. With such yummy food on offer, you wouldn’t want to stray too far anyway!
Hoppers has only a few dishes on its menu, but we were still spoilt for choice! There’s also a helpful glossary at the back of the menu to explain what each dish is. Here’s how we got on:
Chicken Heart Chukka (£4.50) – one of THE best ways we’ve eaten chicken hearts. Don’t be put off by the sound of this dish – if you’ve never had chicken hearts before, now is the time to try! The chicken hearts were really tender and the coupled with the South Indian spices, it really was a good way to start our meal.
Bonemarrow Varuval, Roti (£4.50) – sweet, melt-in-your mouth bonemarrow, cooked in a delicious curry. The curry itself was really creamy from the coconut milk and it wasn’t too spicy either. The only down side to this dish is that there wasn’t enough of it! The accompanying roti was also good, crispy and fluffy and paired so well with the curry.
Hopper (£3.00) with Guinea Fowl Kari (£5.50), accompanied by Pol Sambol, Seeni Sambol and Coriander Chutney (£1.00) – the famous hopper is made with fermented batter and coconut milk. It’s got a soft fluffy centre like a pancake, with the top half crispy like a crepe. The guinea fowl was so tender it was falling off the bone! Again the curry was creamy and the spices used to cook this were amazing. We’d definitely recommend paying the extra £1 for the trio of chutneys as all the flavours combined created something out of this world!
Dosa (£3.00) with Fish Kari (£5.50), accompanied by Coriander, Tomato and Coconut Chutney (£1.00) and Yogurt (£1.25) – the dosa is like a super crispy crepe, but made with lentils. The fish was super moist and the spices in the curry didn’t overpower the subtle flavour of it. We also ordered the yogurt to add an extra layer of creaminess.
Buffalo Buriyani, Duck Egg Kari, Yogurt and Brinjal Moju (£16.00) – this dish is one of only three mains on the menu. Another faultless dish. The buriyani was packed full of flavour and had a mixture of textures – soft tender buffalo meat, fluffy rice, and crunchy cashew nuts. The duck egg kari was also something unique. The egg seemed to have been fried before hand as it had an extra layer of skin to it. The yogurt and pickled aubergine were also good accompaniments.
Watallapam (£4.00) – a steamed coconut pudding with a strong cardamom flavour. This is a dessert that just melts in your mouth. It’s also a pretty small portion. So it’s quite pricey for something that you’ll finish in a few seconds. However, if you love cardamom then this is one for you.
Love cake with Yogurt Kulfi (£4.00) – similar to a sticky toffee pudding, but with the extra flavour of cardomom (although not as strong as the Watallapam). On top you have a scoop of yogurt kulfi. The mixture of the warm fluffy cake with the cold ice cream was pretty cool too. Maybe something to share with your valentine? 🙂
We were really impressed with Hoppers and will definitely be back soon to try everything else on the menu. We’ve given Hoppers a whopping 4.5 yums (as we did with Bao – which doesn’t surprise us since the Sethi siblings are also investors there). Service was good and we even had Sunain Sethi as our waitress for the night. It was really nice to see the owners so hands on, it shows they really care about their business. The cost was just under £80 for 3 people. So if you haven’t given Hoppers a try yet, we’d suggest you go soon!
Opening times: Mon- Sat 1200-1430; 1730-2230
Location: 49 Frith St, London W1D 4SG