The Sethi siblings – the team behind Gymkhana and Trishna – have turned their restaurant Midas touch to street food with their latest venture inspired by the road shacks of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Hoppers launched in Soho’s Frith Street on 28 October, on the former site of Koya, which closed at the end of May (Koya-Bar remains open).
It is the third London-based Indian restaurant from Karam, Jyotin and Sunaina Sethi, who also back Bubbledogs, Kitchen Table, Lyle’s and Bao through their group, JKS Restaurants.
Hoppers is inspired by the roadside shacks (boutiques) of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, with the hopper and dosa at the heart of the menu. The hopper, more widely known as the ‘Aappam/à®†à®ªà¯à®ªà®®à¯,’ is a thin, bowl shaped pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. The name ‘Hopper’ is taken from the British mispronunciation of the word Aappam.
Dosas and hoppers are served with a choice of meat, seafood or vegetable kari and a selection of sambols and chutneys made with freshly ground coconut. The menu also offers a couple of ‘rice and roast’ dishes, such as a Buffalo shank biryani or Tamil spit chicken. A variety of bar snacks, or ‘short eats’ as they are referred to in Sri Lanka, showcase authentic Tamilian techniques and spicing, including Oxtail Veechu Roti, mint sambol.
A short list of cocktails focuses on Genever and Arrack, with Sri Lankan Lion lager and stout. Ginger beer and buttermilk chaas will be made in house. Group executive chef Rohit Ghai leads the kitchen operations at Hoppers.