Hoppers, London, UK
It doesn’t look like there is any stopping the Sethi siblings – Karam, Jyotin and Sunaina. But then, when their holding company JKS Restaurants is behind some of the most exciting F&B concepts to have hit London in recent years (hello Gymkhana, Bubbledogs, Kitchen Table, Lyle’s, Trishna and Bao) why would you?
Their newest baby Hoppers, in the city’s foodie quarter, Soho, references the classic bowl-shaped crepe made of ground white rice that is filled with everything from egg and freshly scraped coconut to a red chilli fish curry. That such staple fare from Sri Lanka and India’s south-east Tamil Nadu is able to land in the middle of Soho without anyone blinking an eye owes much to the Sethis’ ability to balance nuanced Asian classics with a contemporary, read non-threatening, setting.
Hats off in that regard to Katy Manolescue of local firm, Article Design Studio, whose charming scheme for Hoppers weaves terracotta tiles and ochre bricks with Sri Lankan poster art, money plants and a rattan ceiling. If a full-scale meal doesn’t appeal, the fully-stocked bar offers black pepper cream soda, arracks distilled from fermented coconut sap, genever-based cocktails and half-bottles of Piedmontese wine to go with truly otherworldly snacks of pig shank roti, curried duck eggs, and crab omelette.