The second Hoppers from JKS Restaurants will open in St. Christopher’s Place, at the junction of James Street and Wigmore Street, on Tuesday 12 September it has been confirmed to Eater London today. The restaurant — which focuses on street food from Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu — will take reservations for lunch and dinner.
As reported last month, the site will be significantly bigger than the original restaurant in Soho: it will seat 85 across two floors, a further 16 on an outside terrace, and there is space for 24 in the four private dining vaults. The restaurant will “welcome more room for group dining and family feasting, Sri Lankan style,” a statement released this morning stated.
Karam Sethi, the restaurant group’s chef director, told Eater London: “Following the success of the first Hoppers in Soho in 2015, Sri Lanka being one of the hottest travel destinations of the last year, and subsequently a huge rise in popularity of the country’s food and culture in the capital, opening a second, larger Hoppers site seemed like a natural step. As well as offering reservations for the first time, a new element of Hoppers St. Christopher’s Place will be our feasting menus, allowing more options to dine family feasting-style, and exposing more Londoners to the bold flavours of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu.”
Like at the Soho site, the St. Christopher’s Place menu will revolve around Hoppers’ namesake dish, a bowl shaped thin pancake made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk — and the dosa, made from a fermented batter of ground rice and lentils. These will be served alongside a selection of new karis (Tamil for curry) which will include lamb shank, aubergine, crab, cauliflower and prawn.
The new restaurant will also introduce ‘Rice and Roast’ dishes designed to be shared, feasting style. These will include banana leaf-roasted bream, green mango and madras onion; Jaffna lamb cutlets, cucumber mooli sambol; and chicken buriani, chicken heart acharu and yoghurt. A new feature will also the ‘Taste of Hoppers’ menu, offering a selection of favourites off the menu. At lunch, a rice plate will offer guests a set dish featuring rice, dal, kari, seeni sambol, gotukola sambol, aubergine moju, duck egg, cutlet — a fortifying traditional Sri Lankan lunch.
Alongside the hoppers, dosas and feasting dishes, there will also be a selection of so-called “Short Eats,” the Sri Lankan term for snacks which are typically eaten with drinks. These will include bone marrow varuval with roti; Jaffna beef rib fry; hot butter devilled chipirones; and ‘Idli, sambhar, podi and coconut chutney.
Arrack — a Sri Lankan spirit made from fermented coconut sap — and the Dutch spirit Genever, will be the base sprits around which the new cocktail menu will be based. The drinks will be flavoured with ingredients “inspired by the flora and vegetation of Sri Lanka’s spice gardens.” Curated by JKS Restaurants’ Group Bar Manager James Stevenson, the list will include the signature ‘One Pot Sour’ made with Spice Tree Whisky, Amontilado sherry, lemon, mace, fermented rice syrup and truffle.
Also new to the second restaurant will be a selection of frozen ‘slushie’ drinks including the frozen pina-pol-ada and fro-yo mango lassi — as well as alcoholic milkshakes like a kappi frappi cino. Larger format cocktails for four to share will be available alongside the feasting menus: these will include the jungle negroni and burgher milk wine.
Hoppers St. Christopher’s Place opens following the success of its award-winning Soho sibling which was opened by JKS Restaurants in October 2015. The second restaurant, which will offer reservations as well as space for walk-ins.
The interiors, by Katy Manolescue of Article Design Studio, are inspired by the Jungle Modernist movement associated with the late Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa and his notion of transporting the outside Sri Lankan landscape into the modern home.