If it is the indie spirit of London’s dining scene that keeps it so fresh and exciting, it’s also the case that a handful of these maverick restaurateurs have their fingers in several disparate but similarly delicious pies. Siblings Jyotin, Karam and Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants certainly have the magic touch: they’ve backed perennial London favourites such as Lyle’s and Bao, and are the team behind Trishna and Gymkhana, which is still just about everyone’s favourite Indian restaurant in Mayfair, and remains a near-impossible table to score at peak times.
When they opened the Sri Lanka- and Tamil Nadu-inspired Hoppers on Soho’s Frith Street in 2015, the critics raved and a queue formed that has never disappeared (as is the way with “no reservations” in London). Such has become the Hoppers phenomenon that a sibling is now opening on Wigmore Street (just north of Oxford Street) on Tuesday September 12 for lunch and dinner, with more space (and, thankfully, half of the seats available for online reservation).
The menu will be similar to that of the original restaurant, with the dosa and traditional breakfast-style hopper (a bowl-shaped pancake made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk) both a fixture. There will be new arrivals, though, in the form of “rice and roast” plates that are intended to be shared family style (including banana-leaf-roasted plaice, Jaffna lamb cutlets and chicken buriani). The cocktail list, meanwhile, has been developed around two core ingredients – arrack, made from fermented coconut sap, and the Dutch spirit genever – and new drinks include alcoholic milkshakes (try the Kappi Frappi Cino) and frozen cocktails, offering a spin on the piña colada and traditional subcontinental mango lassi.