Hoppers Soho

Indian·
££££
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Gold Award
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SquareMeal Review of Hoppers Soho

Gold Award

The Sethi siblings (of Gymkhana and Brigadiers fame) hit the jackpot when they decided to introduce casual, small plates dining to Londoners en masse, and although the buzz around Hoppers has quelled, you can still expect to wait for a table in the evening. Luckily, the availability of a virtual queuing system means punters no longer have to physically hang around in Soho Square, while parties of between four and seven dining at lunchtime on weekdays can go one better by making a reservation.

Once inside, you’ll be rewarded with a buzzing, intimate space and an astoundingly good menu of “brilliant” Sri Lankan small plates at “very decent prices”. You’ll want to order the whole menu, but we’d suggest trying a few ‘short eats’ to start. We love the deeply meaty mutton rolls covered in crisp breadcrumbs, while the tongue-tingling tamarind and ginger chicken wings are a sticky, messy delight.

For the main event, pick one of the eponymous and “exceptionally good” hoppers (a bowl-shaped rice pancake with a gooey egg embedded in its base) or a sticky and crunchy dosa cone, then match it with your choice of curry – perhaps smoky charred ‘black pork’ or a sweet-tasting okra and plantain riff.

Order some roti bread to mop up any sauces that have managed to escape your grasp, while sipping on spice-infused cocktails from a concise collection – we like the lively Sambol Garita, which mixes green pepper Tequila with lime and toasted coconut salt.

Hoppers doesn’t do desserts, but sweet-toothed diners can get their fix from a frothy lassi-style drink which blends chocolate powder, coconut milk and spiced jaggery to create a concoction that would terrify your dentist. The best part? Hoppers is great value for money and you’re always made to feel welcome, thanks to accommodating features such as truly “lovely” service and a glossary of terms on the menu for the uninitiated.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Indian
Eat at Home
Home delivery, Takeaway service
Ambience
Cool, Fun, Lively
Special Features
Counter dining
People
Dates
Food Hygiene Rating

About Hoppers Soho

Housed in a popular little spot on Frith Street, Hoppers Soho is largely responsible for putting Sri Lankan food well and truly on London’s map. The small and cheerful venue with its wooden furniture, bright yellow walls and framed Bollywood posters is inspired by the village toddy shops on the backstreets of Sri Lanka and the restaurant serves a laid-back informal menu of traditional and authentic dishes from the country including hoppers, dossas, kothus and roasts – all complimented by a tropical drinks list focussed around the popular native spirits Genever and Arrack.  The restaurant is the brainchild of the Sethi siblings, best known for their Indian restaurants Gymkhana and Brigadiers, and the success of their casual small plate outpost has seen Hoppers replicated in St Christopher’s Place and soon to be King’s Cross.

A very reasonable express lunch menu is a good way to experience a broad range of the restaurant’s popular dishes comprising mutton rolls, goat or veg Kothu rotis, a hopper or dosa, choice of Kari and selection of sambols or chutneys; but for those with more time on their hands the Taste of Hoppers feasting menus are an absolute must. For just £35 a head the whole table will be served a selection of signature dishes to share that showcase the very best of authentic Sri Lankan cusine. Choose between a meat or vegetarian option and look forward to sharing dishes that include hot butter chilli paneer; devilled squid; goat Kothu roti; Kappa cutlets; and bone marrow varuval. Next guests can choose between a traditional hopper- a large bowl shaped fermented rice and coconut milk pancake- or dosa – a pancake made from a fermented lentil and rice batter. Finally diners can choose a Kari (the Tamil term for a curry) of their choice to round off the feast with some Sri Lankan heat.

Location

49 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4SG

020 3319 8110

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon 12:00-14:30
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-17:30
Sat 12:00-17:30
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon 17:30-22:30
Tue 17:30-22:30
Wed 17:30-22:30
Thu 17:30-22:30
Fri 17:30-22:30
Sat 17:30-22:30
Sun Closed

Reviews

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12 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Anon

09 June 2022  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 0.5
Value 0.5
Disgusted.

Disgusting food. Disgusting service. Disgusting management.

I ordered veggie taste of hoppers for 2 over Deliveroo. They served me the lamb kothu dish instead of the jackfruit version of the same dish. In fact, jackfruit looks like meat, so I ate some. I am a vegetarian, and the dish did not settle well in my stomach. I have been vomiting for the past hour, NON-STOP. This is unacceptable. Absolutely horrible that they did this; I have used deliveroo and this has not happened even once before in the last 5 years. So this is the first reason I am writing this critical review. 

The second reason: I tried to call the restaurant to directly report my concerns, and the number DID NOT WORK. IN FACT, I called Deliveroo and asked them to call the restaurant (assuming they have an alternative, working line to the restaurant). Deliveroo customer service also told me that NOBODY is picking up and that the number is basically, DEFUNCT. Fear not, I asked Deliveroo customer service to report this all to management of course

Ridiculous. So, I tried calling the parent company JKS, the purported, "award-winning, London restaurant group". Absolute nonsense of course. The number has an automatic answering system, which tells me that I am calling after business hours, so my call WON'T BE TAKEN! 

So, the phone number to the restaurant DOES NOT WORK, and the only number to reach even the management, DOES NOT WORK IN ACTUAL DINNER HOURS - I.E. WHEN RESTAURANTS GENERALLY SERVE FOOD. 

Disgusting, I will never eat here again. In fact, I will tell my family, my friends, and anyone else that will listen to me: do not go to HOPPERS or any other restaurant in the JKS group. Why am I disparaging all restaurants, *generally*, in the JKS group? Because there is only one *general* number that can be used to lodge complaints, albeit the fact it only works during business hours. 

When food is good, I go out of my way to write a good review. I also love spreading the word. But when EVERYTHING is bad, I will make sure my criticism spreads like wildfire. 

For the final time, I am disgusted by JKS, Hoppers, and all of it. This site won't allow 0 stars, so I will be content with 1. But fear not, I will spread this review on other rating sites; hopefully, I will get lucky, and it'll have a rating system that allows <1 star.

Anyone reading, for Sri Lankan food, Kolamba is the best I have eaten in London. For other South Asian food in general, go to Dishoom. Kricket ain't too bad either. 

Hannah K

02 July 2019  
Amazing food and service.

Lisa C

28 June 2019  
Small bites served with style and great taste. What's not to like?

Anubhuti M

27 June 2018  
Food is amazing and not too expensive. Worth waiting in the queue!!

Camille D

21 March 2018  
Everything about it food is excellent and well presented. Staff are friendly and polite. All the restaurants have a great set of menus, drinks and cocktails.

Jacquelyn W

04 February 2018  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 3
Authentic Sri Lankan food in London
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!

Nivetha M

15 May 2017  
Brilliant food, intimate setting, beautiful music and excellent value!

Emma M

05 May 2017  
I have now been to all the restaurants owned by this group. Hoppers is a favourite purely due to the tasty spicy food that is different to other restaurants. The Hoppers are devine. Easy going fun ambience with a Sri Lankan feel. Staff were very friendly and good at making recommendations on what to order. Been back a few times and will be returning. Very happy this group launch Motu take away company recently - made me very happy to have such high standard curry at home :-).

Piglet

11 July 2016  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Heaven on a copper plate
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” ?

Laura C

09 June 2016  
Honestly, I really hate no reservations - I do not want to wait outside a restaurant for 2 hours..in the rain..hungry.. Anyway, with Hoppers I was a little lucky and went at lunch where the wait was a modest 20 minutes. Given the rave reviews, I did wonder if it would live up to the hype. It did. Those curries were full of flavour and spice. Personally I preferred the dosa over the hopper given it was a bit more substantial. The shrimps are a must have and I believe the duck heart is too though somehow when I went to try one, the dish was already empty.
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