Karam, Jyotin and Sunaina Sethi, the siblings behind Gymkhana and Trishna, will launch Hoppers in October 2015 at 49 Frith Street. Hoppers will be the third London-based Indian restaurant for the Sethis, who also back Bubbledogs, Kitchen Table, Lyle’s and Bao through their group, JKS Restaurants. Hoppers is inspired by the roadside shacks (boutiques) of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, with the hopper and dosa at the heart of the menu. The hopper, more widely known as the ‘Aappam/ஆப்பம்,’ is a thin, bowl shaped pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. The name ‘Hopper’ is taken from the British mispronunciation of the word Aappam. Dosas are made from a fermented batter of ground rice and lentils and are a staple dish of the regions. At Hoppers, the dosas and hoppers will be served with a choice of meat, seafood or vegetable kari and a selection of sambols and chutneys made with freshly ground coconut.
The menu will also offer a couple of ‘rice and roast’ dishes, such as a Buffalo shank biryani or Tamil spit chicken. A variety of bar snacks, or ‘short eats’ as they are referred to in Sri Lanka, will showcase authentic Tamilian techniques and spicing, including Oxtail Veechu Roti, mint sambol.
A short list of cocktails will focus on Genever and Arrack, with Sri Lankan Lion lager and stout also available. Ginger beer and buttermilk chaas will be made in house.
Group Executive Chef Rohit Ghai will lead the kitchen operations at Hoppers. The design, by Katy Manolescue of Article Design Studio, will reference the hopper and dosa shacks of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu. Artist/Director of film and animation Mustashrik has created an original character design and logo that draws its inspiration from the vivid iconography and popular culture of Tamil folklore, in collaboration with Karam.
“Hoppers is an exciting opportunity to introduce Tamilian food culture to London. The restaurant will be fast paced and bold on flavour,” says Karam.