The new Hoppers has an even bigger space than its Soho sibling
Words Hannah Hopkins
If you don’t have the time or money to book a trip to Sri Lanka, then Hoppers is the next best thing. Its family-style Sri Lankan cooking and inventive cocktails are served up in vibrant, relaxed surroundings that transport you to the beautiful island – albeit only for a few hours.
The new restaurant opens following the success of its award-winning Soho sibling which was opened by JKS Restaurants in 2015. Fans of the original will be pleased that there’s a second outpost, which is even roomier and offers reservations, as well as seats for walk-ins.
As expected, the St. Christopher’s Place menu centres around Hoppers’ namesake dish, a bowl-shaped pancake made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk, and the dosa, made from a fermented batter of ground rice and lentils.
Bold and authentic flavours punctuate the dishes, including the new karis (curries to you and me) of lamb shank, aubergine, crab, cauliflower and prawn. There are exciting new sections to the menu, include a ‘Rice and Roast’ section of dishes designed to be shared – think banana leaf roasted plaice, green mango & madras onion sambol and jaffna lamb cutlets and chicken buriani with chicken heart acharu and yoghurt.
We fell head over heels for the lamb kothu roti, an eminently warming, flavoursome dish with meaty morsels of earthy spiced lamb dotted with small feathery slices of roti and bits of scrambled egg. Other standouts included the black pork ribs, string hoppers with pol sambol and hot butter devilled chipirones. Those who are new to Sri Lankan cuisine should opt for the ‘Taste of Hoppers’ menu, offering a selection of favourites off the menu.
Cocktails are based on arrack, a Sri Lankan spirit made from fermented coconut sap, and the Dutch spirit Genever. We’d opt for one of the frozen slushie drinks like ‘frozen pina-pol-ada’ and ‘fro-yo mango lassi’ to cool down the heat of the main dishes.
Inside the restaurant are traditional Sri Lankan patterned fabrics and rattan screens which complete the exotic look and feel of what is sure to be a new Soho favourite.
Hoppers St Christopher’s Place
77 Wigmore Street, W1U