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49 Frith Street
Sometimes, very good things come in very small packages. This no-reservations South Indian eatery from the Sethi siblings (of Trishna and Gymkhana fame) goes from strength to strength, with the implementation of an app in 2016 eliminating one of very few negative points: the need to queue outside on Lexington Street. The average wait at dinner is still over an hour, but the pay-off is astoundingly good-value Sri Lankan and Tamil cuisine “full of delicate flavours and fragrances”. Pick an eponymous hopper (a bowl-shaped rice pancake) with a gooey egg embedded in its base or a sticky, crunchy dosa cone, then match your choice with a “perfectly balanced” kari (curry). Options range from lamb, black pork or fish to red pumpkin and gourd with cashew, irresistibly supported by fiery, must-order Bengali prawns or crisp and deeply meaty mutton rolls. Hoppers is perpetually packed, but “friendly, discreet staff” won’t rush you, so sit back and sip an exotic Margarita (pepped up with pickled lime and coconut salt) to compensate for the absence of a dessert menu.
SquareMeal Award - Best New Restaurant
StreetSmart - London restaurants
Cool restaurants in London
Cheap eats in London
Best in Soho
London's Hot 100 Restaurants
SquareMeal 3 Stars
49 Frith Street
Tottenham Court Road Tube Station 241m
Leicester Square Tube Station 305m
Prince Edward Theatre 31m
Old Compton Street 46m
Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 5.30-10.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
This place is so authentically Sri Lankan that once I stepped foot in it, all the memories of my Sri Lankan trip last year kept coming back. The food was very down to earth and home style, and the egg hopper was exceptionally good. The staff were all very friendly and attentive. Highly recommended!
Food + drink: 5
We joined the queue at 11.30am on Saturday (the restaurant doesn’t open until midday) and by the time the doors opened, the queue was enough to fill the restaurant, and I understand why.
This place is fantastic, the staff are welcoming, knowledgeable and passionate about the food and happy to recommend their favourite cocktails, dishes etc.
We had (to share), crispy spiced quail on the bone, string hoppers (steamed noodle like pieces of hopper, shaped into a patty with an out of this world spicy, coconut sauce and pol sambol (dessicated coconut and Maldivian dried fish with onions and spices) that you sprinkle on top, I have never tasted anything like it but I want to again!, one hopper, one dosa, one chicken curry and one lamb curry, which was the perfect amount of food for us. I want to try everything on the menu, and can’t wait to go back.
Unlike other no reservations restaurants the manager will take your name and number and call you when a table comes free, so that you enjoy a drink or two in one of the many local soho bars while you wait, which is good concept.
We drank Hoppers Spritz and Lion sri Lankan lager.
This is from the same family as the wonderful Trishna and Gymkhana – if they would like to adopt me I will happily “work for food”
Food + drink: 0
They have no reservation system here. You have to turn up and register and they text you when a table is ready. They said the average wait was two hours. For Street Food.......
However, after registering and waiting patiently for 2 1/2 hours in Soho, no call, No Text. Complete waste of our evening so won't be wasting out time again.
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