The place opens at 5.30pm, you can’t book a table. It was a Wednesday evening, ‘arrive on the dot’, fail safe I thought. Boy, was I wrong!
Hoppers opened in Soho in 2015 and has had a queue popping outside its door ever since. It’s almost overnight success is not surprising when you can finally get a seat and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. We managed to get the last table before the poor suckers outside (turning up at 5.31pm – the tardiness!) had to wait until the first lot of lucky diners had finished their meal of kings.
The menu is varied, flavoursome and vibrant. As soon as you look around and see what everyone is eating you get instant food envy even before having a chance to inspect the menu. But fear not! The owner – genius some say, legend others – came up with the sharing menu, letting you taste an array of authentic dishes and all for a reasonable price of £28 per person! Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t think in my whole lifetime of eating out in London that I’ve come across a cheaper menu. But just because you aren’t dipping into your savings account, don’t think for one moment something else is sacrificed. This isn’t buying sushi from Tesco for half the price and thinking why you bothered. The flavours of Hoppers aren’t neglected, nor the atmosphere, it really is just incredible value for money (more than some of its other Soho counterparts!).
We (obviously!) went for the sharing menu and within minutes the 8 dishes started pouring out the kitchen. Way more food than anticipated, our eyes were definitely bigger than our bellies and we were soon faced with a mammoth task of not wanting to waste a single morsel. Keeping the best till last, the signature Hopper moved all other plates aside to be smack bang in the middle and it didn’t disappoint. The paper thin pancake, shaped like a bowl, fried egg cracked in the middle, stole the show. After all, it had to be special if it had a restaurant (or two) named after it. Now, I know what you’re thinking, starter, main and dessert – tell us about the dessert woman?! But would you be shocked if I told you there genuinely wasn’t room for the third course…I know, I’m ashamed myself as I write this down. I’m a preacher of “always room for dessert”, but I was defeated and to a worthy opponent.
(Imagine courtesy of About Time Magazine-as I was way too excited to tuck in than take pictures…woops!)
I don’t think my words of praise can fully gasp the extent of how delightful and yummy this meal was, so for heavens sake get yourself down there and let me know what the desserts are like!