Unless you've been living under a rock or you don't read any restaurant reviews, then I'm sure by now you've heard of Hoppers, the new spot in Soho serving Sri Lankan food from the people behind Gymhkana, Trishna, Lyle's, Bubbledogs, The Kitchen Table and Bao. Hoppers has been highly reviewed by some of the biggest names in food, and with a no booking policy its popularity has gone through the roof. I've been a couple of times now, and by the second visit they'd installed an app queuing system whereby you can leave your phone number in the queue, pop to the nearest pub/bar and wait in the warm with a drink, until you get a text saying your table's ready, rather than huddled under the awning of the building opposite as we did on our first visit. Don't let the wait/queue put you off going though - you need to try this food. As you'll see on Thursday when I post my top 10 restaurants of 2015, it's made its way on to there, which is saying something with the amount of restaurants I've been to this year. And Hoppers is ridiculously cheap, particularly if you don't drink too much (both times I've been our drinks spend has far exceeded what we've spent on food....)

And talking of drinks, what better place to start. There's a slightly weird and wonderful cocktail menu at Hoppers, and to be honest, most of them include ingredients I prefer on my plate than in my glass (curry leaf, peppercorns, cashews) so on both visits I've gone for the Hoppers gin and tonic, made with lemongrass infused Sipsmith gin, Indian lemon, lemongrass and tonic, which is a zingy and refreshing drink and a great start to the meal. I had a sip of Emily's Colombo no.7 gin and tonic (gin, fresh curry leaves, cinnamon and cardamom tonic) but much preferred mine.

The food menu is made up of short eats, hoppers/dosas (pancakes with or without a whole egg) which are served with karis (curries), and larger roast and kothu (a larger curry) dishes which all come with rice. We started with a few of the short eats, which range from £3.50 - £6.50. We had duck roti - minced and spiced duck meat served in a flaky roti pastry with rasa - a spicy gravy, and mutton rolls with a spicy dipping sauce to start. Both delicious and a good stomach liner to kick off with.

The other three short eat dishes that I've had both times now are my three favourite things on the menu. Chicken heart chukka (£4.50) is so meaty and rich, while the chicken hearts are pink and soft, and the green beans add the perfect amount of crunch and veg to the dish.

Hot butter devilled shrimps (£6.50) will blow your head off chilli wise. But not in a burning way. You still get incredible flavours coming through despite the ferocious chilli heat. Probably best avoided if you can't handle that much heat though.

And bonemarrow varuval (masala) with roti (£4.50) which I would eat every day if I could! Whole bits of bone with their marrow in come in this decadent sauce, served with a roti to mop it all up with.

For mains we had the special of the day - a crab curry, to eat with the dosa and the egg hopper, and the chutneys they come with. This was the weakest dish we had. Not that it wasn't delicious, but the amount of crab meat you get is minimal and it's hard to get out of the shells without any instruments to help. A knife and fork didn't really help. The first time I went Lucy and I had the black pork kari which was much more of a success. As was the lamb kothu roti, though if there's only two of you and you've already had the short eats, maybe just order one of these, as we were slightly stumped by the amount of food in front of us.

The last savoury dish we had on visit number two was the buffalo buriani - a rich rice dish studded with hunks of buffalo meat and cashew nuts, served with duck egg kari (another winner on the night), yoghurt and brinjal moju (aubergine pickle).


We ordered one pudding to share, but I wouldn't bother. It's called Watallapam, and is a dense, gelatinous slice topped with nuts. After the intense, rich flavours of the savoury dishes this was nothing special and we left most of it on the plate.

Both times I've been to Hoppers I've eaten more than I should, waddled out, and paid less than £25 a head for food including service. They're closed until 4th January, but once they reopen get yourselves down there for a Sri Lankan feast. The full menu, address all the info you need is on their website here. Hoppers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. Have most possibly been living under a rock but not for much longer! ;) Thanks for the recommendation - will be trying it out! Best wishes for 2016! Ana xxx


    1. This one's definitely worth coming out of under that rock for!!

      Happy 2016,
      Rosie xx

  2. Oh my god those shrimps!!! NEED to go pronto! x

    1. It is SO good. I could eat those shrimps all day long!

      Rosie xx


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