A third branch of Hoppers opened in February 2020; the menu is much the same as the first two, but takes culinary inspiration from the coastal journey from Colombo, the island’s capital, to the historical Dutch town of Galle.
Harden's survey result
“Authentic Sri Lankan food (just like my friend’s mum used to make)” has won fame for JKS Restaurants’s “buzzy” (“not much elbow room at busy times”) and “fun”, street-food cafés, which – although not quite as “novel” as when they first opened – are still “simply sensational” for most reporters. “Obviously you must have a hopper” (a rice pancake), and also “the curries are delicious, especially the seafood one”, as are the “really tasty dosas”. And “it’s unbelievable that you can have a table filled up with exciting food at less than £30 a head, including drinks!”. “While the original location (Soho) is better, it’s nice that you can book at St Christopher’s Place”.
“Fabulous spiced dishes” based around hoppers (Sri Lankan rice pancakes) offer “a completely different experience of Indian (or akin to Indian anyway) food” at the Sethi family’s “so original” and “fun” street-food cafés, in Soho and Marylebone. But while fans still find the formula “amazing… even with the wait”, ratings slid badly this year due to the number of reporters who found it “didn’t live up to the hype”, citing issues including “pushy” or “overly swift” service and a sense it’s “just a bit too pleased with its own vibe”. Soho is walk-in only, except for ticketed events every other Sunday.
“I went over 15 times last year. I can’t get enough!” The Sethi family’s “tiny”, “fun” Soho two-year-old punches well above its weight with its “ultra-tasty” Sri Lankan and Tamil street food – “perfectly spiced bites” (majoring in rice pancake ‘hoppers’) that “burst with flavour and texture” (“I was born in Sri Lanka, and this place is pretty authentic”). Given the no-bookings policy, “it’s a disaster to get into, but damn it, it’s worth it!” In mid-September 2017, they opened a much-anticipated spin-off in Marylebone which, thankfully, does take bookings..