Hoppers

Restaurants, Sri Lankan Marylebone
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
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A second branch of Hoppers, on Marylebone’s Wigmore Street.

Hurrah, some of you will cry: a Hoppers for grown-ups. This time, the fashionable Sri-Lankan-slash-south-Indian spot has moved out of sexy Soho, into mature Marylebone. Key difference? You can book. Sort of. It’s all yours if you’re a foursome, but if you’ve just got the one friend, then you can only hold a table for lunch. Dinner? Walk-in. (The queue is ‘virtual’: they’ll buzz your phone.)

So I turn up on a Tuesday night at 6.45pm. The wait, we’re told, is up to 90 minutes. Is there a bar? Yes. Right. Down we go, to drink exotic, brain-freeze-inducing cocktails. This is where the group tables are: it’s more party party. But in just 30 minutes, two seats at the small ground-floor counter come up. No theatre here, just a simple, four-seat affair with a lone bartender polishing glasses. Did we care? Hell no. We were IN.

Surveying the menu, I clocked most of the original’s calling cards. Yet the bone marrow varuval is sweeter and, bizarrely, wetter than when it was first launched. Instead, it was the Jaffna beef rib fry that stole my heart, perhaps because it’s everything that the varuval used to be. A fiery, intense, ‘dry’ curry, booming with flavour. Equally va-va-voom was a glorious hash of spiced baby squid with tomatoes, curry leaves and spring onions.

But the more ‘fusiony’ dishes didn’t fly. Don’t bother with the corn on the cob, with its overbearing spicing, or the ‘love cake ice cream sandwich’, with its miserable lack of cake (you’re better off gatecrashing a Sri Lankan wedding instead).

Still, this is a smart, airy option for a distinctly civilised set. As we left, we spied ‘queen of curries’ Madhur Jaffrey at a table in the corner. If that’s not grown-up, I don’t know what is.

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Hoppers
Contact:
Address: 77 Wigmore St
London
W1U 1QE
Transport: Tube: Bond Street
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £90.
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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tastemaker

I came here with a large group so they sat us in the vaults, a spacious area although very hot in there! Nice to have our own space and a coat rack too. It's nice they have a downstairs, as when we arrived it was so full upstairs! 


I had studied the menu online so kind of knew what I wanted, especially when its a large group, hard to get a word in edgeways. For cocktails i got the master blaster: Rutte Genever - Amrut Fusion - Tobacco - Cinnamon - Big Coconut Ice. It looked so cool and was strong. But not as strong as a neat whisky, something that i could get use to and did.

We opted for the feasting menus, as it contained mostly everything we wanted to try. We had a few veggies and a few meatys. For the meatys, we removed the chicken and put in the Banana Leaf Roasted Bream, Green Mango + Madras Onion Sambol. The starters came out first which were all good apart from the chukka wings. Overly spiced and not enough actual flavour and also was very dry! I really liked the Devilled Chipirones - almost sweet spicy squid. Mutton rolls were good as well.


But i was equally excited about the hopper. They are a good size for sharing, a rice and coconut fermented milk pancake. I also liked the thalis they gave too. So i tried a bit of everything and i was actually full from the starters. The sea bream was probably my favourite, it was so tender and juicy. My least favourite was the pork ribs, dry and chewy! Lambs chops were a bit meh, I have had better! But my favourite favourite was the beet + kale sambol, that was so delicious!!! I literally just ate that. The prawn mango kari was a total let down! 

I feel like the mains were a let down for me, the starters were definitely a whole lot better. Also it's a lot of food. If i was to go back, I'd go for less definitely. Service was good, but I wouldn't say its value for money! I found it to be way overpriced for what it really is. I have always wanted to try Hoppers and I'm glad I did, but I won't be returning in a hurry! 

tastemaker

FINALLY another Hoppers! Wahey!

I was so excited to visit this newest addition to Hoppers in the “posh” part of London and see what they’ve done with the place!

Thinking you can actually make reservations and not have to queue for their yummy food got me even more excited, until I rang to try and make a reservation and was told I couldn’t unless it was a party of 4 or more, bummer!

So, on a busy Saturday evening my friend and I excitedly went in and were told it would be upto an hours wait but could enjoy a drink at the bar downstairs. This is definitely a plus side, having somewhere to wait unlike the smaller branch in Soho.

As we went downstairs, we saw a tiny small bar with quite a few people crammed in the bar area probably waiting for a table like us with their buzzers. There aren’t any seats, just two tables where you can stand and watch everyone else at their tables enjoy their food; such a tease! But on the bright side, their drinks menu is totally new and keeps in line with the Sri Lankan theme. We tried the Arrak attack (Ceylon arrak) and One pot sour (contained egg white, truffle and fermented rice syrup); both very original and yummy! If you’re quite adventurous with your tastebuds I think you will definitely enjoy these!

About 40minutes later we went to our table upstairs, the wait wasn’t too bad to be honest, or we just didn’t realise as we were so engrossed in our drinks, ha!

The food menu has all the best bits from the menu in Soho and some new additions. I tried the kale and beet sambol, idli and dosa. All so delicious and faultless! Same great taste and flavours!

However, we weren’t too impressed with the new lovecake ice cream sandwich for dessert. It was honestly rock hard and so small.

Aside from that the vibe is much less traditional in here, the decor is quite bland and modern, would have much rather they made it slightly more authentic!