They say that good things come to those who wait.
While that doesn’t apply to things like the Chainsmokers’ new album or, say, heart surgery, it does apply to a few restaurants in Soho. And one of those restaurants is Hoppers.
Hoppers is a Sri Lankan restaurant on Frith Street, and it’s one of the best places anywhere in town to eat delicious spicy things. And even if you’re not an expert in Sri Lankan food, it’s familiar enough to immediately understand, but also different enough from standard Indian or Bangladeshi cuisine to feel adventurous and exciting.
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
Assuming you’re someone who falls into the “unfamiliar” category with the cuisine here, let us help you make sure you don’t screw this up. The devilled prawns and the bone marrow curry are excellent, and you need them on your table. The black pork curry is also a must-order, and you’ll want one of their signature hoppers (crispy, bowl-shaped pancakes) to mop all of the gravy up with. And no matter how you feel about the fruit, get one of their durian cream sodas. It’s an excellent, refreshing drink that smells a tiny bit like socks but in a good way. Stay with us.
As for those waits, they are actually hugely over exaggerated. There’s a good chance you can just rock up to Hoppers and get a table at lunch, and it’s doable for dinner, as long as you factor some time to kill into your night. There are literally a hundred bars within a ten-minute walk of Hoppers. Just put your name down, wait for your phone to ring, and hype yourself up with a little Chainsmokers. Just kidding. Don’t do that.
Hopper And Egg Hopper
Though these paper-thin pancakes are tasty on their own, they’re even better when they’re used to mop up curry. Always, always order sambal and chutney on the side.
Hot Butter Devilled Shrimps
Every bite of this dish is like seeing a giant shrimp, made of shrimp, diving into a bowl of shrimp. There’s some crazy magical crustacean flavour going on here, and that’s fine by us.
Bone Marrow Varuval
We’re going to go ahead and say this is one of the best dishes in London. It’s basically animal butter doused in curry. A better combination of words in the English language does not exist.
Vegetarians and halal diners are well catered for, and this eggplant pickle dish is case in point. It’s a nice contrast to some of the intense spice flavours going around.
Black Pork Kari
Any of the curries are fantastic, but this is arguably the best. A must order.
Short Rib Buriani, Duck Egg Kari, Yoghurt, Brinjal Moju
This is one of the pricier items on the menu, but you’re essentially getting several dishes in one. The buriani (biryani) is light and delicious with pieces of tasty beef, and goes great with the egg curry.
They have dosas on the menu. They’re amazing by themselves, but feel free to use them as a vehicle to deliver chutney and curry to your face.