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The Sethi siblings behind Gymkhana and Trishna have continued their winning streak with this terrific new opening on the former site of Koya. Inspired by the roadside shacks of southern India and Sri Lanka, Hoppers is a small, informal venue furnished in 50 shades of brown, with rattan chairs, tightly packed tables and patterned tiling. The effect is warm and welcoming: as suitable for lunch as dinner. No bookings are taken, so large groups should expect to wait, but supremely efficient staff ensure a constant buzz. The value is exceptional, with karis (curries) paired with crisp, sticky dosas costing around £10: ideal for a light lunch. Side snacks include outstanding devilled shrimps, almost Szechuan in their hot, sour flavours. The short list of main courses focuses on dosas and the namesake hopper (a bowl-shaped pancake made from coconut-milk batter and fermented rice), which is teamed with chutneys, sambols and a kari. Our red pumpkin kari was light, creamy and mild, while fish kari offered more heat, especially when paired with a spice-rubbed podi dosa. Further options include tangy pickled aubergine with buffalo shank biryani. To finish, experiment with the love/hate custardy durian, or play it safe with a moist, lightly crunchy love cake. The bar serves great cocktails (try the Pineapple Punch), or there’s Sri Lankan beers and Michele Chiarlo Piedmontese wine. If Gymkhana’s out of your price bracket (or fully booked), Hoppers makes a great alternative. But arrive early – it too looks destined to become a scorchingly hot ticket.
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