If you want to see the delicious pictures from Hoppers then scroll down to the bottom of this post, but for the rest of you foodies we hope you enjoy our Hoppers London review.
If someone told me I would be waiting an hour and half for a table and then another half hour to eat food that I wasn’t sure I’d even like, I wouldn’t believe it. But hey, it happened… I blame Amen for sure. He chose the restaurant knowing that they don’t take reservations and they usually have a long waiting time. So, we arrive at Hoppers, a Sri Lankan restaurant in Soho and there were 3 other couples waiting outside. At this point, I was thinking ‘yes, this is good. We don’t have to wait long’ but that happiness was short lived. We were then informed by the impassive female door staff that it was an hour and half wait but it was a virtual queue – that means you put your name down and you can go off to do what you want. The good thing about it is you can track your position online and when your close to being seated the restaurant texts you to inform you to make your way back. We were number 28! YIKES! So, to punish Amen, I said we were going shopping. YAY!!
About 9:30pm we were seated! FINALLY! We were so hungry. We were seated at one of the two window tables, which was a tad awkward when hungry faces were queuing outside watching you eat. The restaurant was small which made it really warm when it was full – not a good combo when you’re about to eat spicy food. For drinks I ordered the Green Papaya Krush – AMAZING! I had two and Amen had the Ceylon Ice Tea – he forced me to try it even though I hate iced tea, I tried it but still hated it, he didn’t like it much either.
What we ordered
With the food, I had no idea what to have so I let Amen do the ordering and just added some stuff. For small bites we had the Chicken Lollipop Chukka, Calamari Fry, Hot Butter Devilled Shrimps and then I added the Taro, and Cashew and Ash plantain fry. For mains, we weren’t sure whether we should have a hopper or dosa so our waiter explained the difference. Essentially, they are both pancakes but a hopper is soft in the middle and crispy on the edges where the dosa is crispy all the way. We went for the dosa, a Podi Dosa with a Chicken Kari and the three chutneys – Corriander, Tomato, Coconut and then I added pilau rice – of course, who has a curry with no rice!? Finally, Amen also added the Ceylonese Spit Chicken, Gotukola Sambol, Pol Roti. Our waiter at this point was slightly scared at the amount of food we had ordered. But we were just too hungry!
Review of the food
The cashew and plantain fry were really small pieces of plantain and cashews, and we wouldn’t have ordered it if we weren’t so hungry. The chicken lollipops were fried chicken drumsticks that were seasoned really well. The calamari was amazing, but didn’t really taste of fish, which is always a win for me. Amen had the shrimps and he really liked it, it was tasty and spicy – perfect combo for him. The podi dosa was ok for me but I didn’t really enjoy it. Amen thought it was good but still doesn’t understand what the hype is all about, he liked that he tried it but wouldn’t go for it again. The Chicken Kari was the best for me; the chicken was succulent and spicy. I’ve never been a fan of pilau rice and Hoppers hasn’t changed that, but amen really loved it – SHOCKER! for Mr. Strictly No Carbs. Amen attacked the whole baby chicken on his own but he didn’t enjoy it. The chicken was dry and burnt, however the Gotukola Sambol – a plain tomato based curry and the Pol Roti were amazing.
So, was the hour and half wait worth it? No. Well, the food is nice but after waiting for that long I was expecting the food to be a lot better. There wasn’t anything special about it and their signature hoppers and dosas weren’t amazing. I definitely wouldn’t wait that long for it. But if you do want to give it a go, you should go when you’re not that hungry and after you put yourself on the virtual queue, go shopping or for a drink at the plenty bars around Soho. Or go at off peak times. Hoppers is good for casual dining, dates (but go to a bar while you wait), groups as you can share everything.
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Dress Code: Casual
Amen’s Star Dish: Hot Butter Devilled Shrimps
Shiima’s Star Dish: Chicken Kari
Price: £30 each (excluding alcohol)
Rating: 3 out of 5
49 FRITH STREET