When you've opened the 'best restaurant in Britain', what's next? Well, after the resounding success of Gymkhana, the owners rode the wave with a Bao, Xu and Hoppers Soho, following in quick succession.
Siblings Karam, Sunaina and Jyotin Sethi are the restaurateurs who launched a round-the-block-queue fascination with Asian food, from contemporary Indian curries to Sri Lankan street eats: Hoppers.
Since it opened on Soho's Frith Street more than 18 months ago, Hoppers has had hordes of hungry people willing to wait hours to enjoy authentic Sri Lankan street food, especially the lauded namesake hoppers. Before the queues have even subsided, the Sethis have followed up with a second Hoppers, double the size with vaulted semi-private areas. And, best of all, it takes reservations for a more luxe and relaxed experience. Though, there will be an area reserved for walk-ins too.
For the uninitiated, a Hopper is a bowl-shaped fermented rice & coconut milk pancake filled with chutneys and symbols. Dosa, made from a fermented batter of ground rice and lentils alongside a selection of different karis including lamb shank, aubergine, crab, cauliflower and prawn continue on the menu too.
Reflecting the larger space, diners will be encouraged to dine family feasting style from the "Rice and Roast" menu designed by sharing. We can't wait to try banana leaf roasted plaice, green mango and madras onion sambol; Jaffna lamb cutlets, cucumber mooli sambol and chicken burin, chicken heart acharu, yoghurt. When we're introducing new friends to Hoppers we can gravitate to the greatest hits compilation menu, there's both a carnivore and vegetarian take.
At lunch, a 'rice plate' offers a filling and traditional Sri Lankan lunch including rice, dal, kari, symbols, duck egg, cutlet and aubergine mojo, served and eaten speedily.
There's a short eats menu too, the Sri Lankan term for snacks to enjoy with cocktails. We're salivating over Chettinad bone marrow varuval, roti, Idli (steamed rice cakes) with spiced coconut sambol, and devilled chipirones.
Arrack, a Sri Lankan spirit made from fermented coconut sap, and the Dutch spirit Genever, will form the focus of the Hoppers St. Christopher’s Place cocktail menu paired with ingredients inspired by the flora and vegetation of Sri Lanka’s spice gardens. The signature ‘One Pot Sour’ made with Spice Tree Whisky, Amontilado sherry, lemon, mace, fermented rice syrup and truffle promises to be extraordinary. We're amused too by a selection of frozen slushy drinks including fro-yo mango lassi and alcoholic milkshakes too, besides the feast cocktails for four to share especially jungle negroni.
Jungle Modernism (yes, we didn't know it was a term) associated with late Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, that translates as transporting the outside Sri Lankan landscape into the modern home inspires the interiors with masses of light from floor to ceiling windows and bold accents of lime green. Four private dining vaults on the lower ground floor have a darker colour palette with marble finishes. Traditional Sri Lankan patterned fabric and rattan screens add warmth.
It promises far more of a party style and we can't wait to be hopping to it.
Booking: Through Hoppers Website Reservations are taken, though only for bookings of 4+ at dinner and 2+ at launch. Plenty of room is reserved for walk-ins too, though we expect it to be extremely busy.
|What||New Hoppers restaurant, Marylebone|
|Nearest tube||Bond Street (underground)|
12 Sep 17 – 12 Sep 18, MON-SAT 12-2.45 and 17.30-22.30
|Website||Click here for more info & booking|