Thursday, 31 March 2016

Hop In

Sri Lankan and Tamil Cuisine is something that I haven't really delved into before. So when it came to checking out Hoppers, I went in with very little knowledge but come the end, I left having tried some fine ass food. The restaurant showcases the Sri Lankan cuisine bringing as much authenticity as possible whilst at the same time giving it a modern makeover.

Hoppers is a bubbly and bustling little hotspot in Soho, the only tricky thing though is that they do not take reservations, so get there in good time to ensure you get a table. Even if you don't manage to get a table straightaway, let me be the first to tell you that it is well worth the wait.

Knowing what was on the menu proved a little difficult but luckily Hoppers engaging, helpful and friendly staff were there to guide me and save me from making a fool out of myself.  I should mention one important thing, that I stupidly failed to realise there's a glossary of terms at the back of the menu. But nevertheless FoodPunkers, let me give you the heads up by giving a brief description of the key items.
  • Hopper - Bowl shaped fermented rice and coconut milk pancake
  • Dosa - Crispy fermented lentil and rice crepe
  • Kothu - Finely chopped roti cooked with vegetables, meat or seafood.

As always I ordered a whole heap of stuff, any more and it would have been game over. I just know the pictures below will get your taste buds going.



Mutton Rolls

Lamb Kothu Rot

Hopper with various chutneys and Sambals



If you like you're spice then you're gonna love this place. For me it hit the right note, enough heat to coat the lips but if things did get a little too hot, I had a cool crisp beer to cool things down. FoodPunkers if I were you I would order two rounds of mutton rolls. One just isn't enough and I'm not being greedy here. Those bad boys were just incredible and the good chefs themselves don't shy away from packing it with lots of  meat. It tasted even better with the chilli, garlic and ginger dip. In fact all of the dips and sambals are to die for. Get your dosa, roti and hopper and just dunk away.
The fish curry had flaky bite size pieces of mackerel swimming in a spiced coconut sauce and the soft fatty bonemarrow came with a fiery sauce and a light buttery roti, perfect for spreading that flavoursome fat on.

Without a doubt Hoppers could just be one of the best restaurants in London. So next time you're in Soho and you want to spice things up a little, hop in to this little gem of a place.


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Get Your Shuang On.

If you want fun, healthy and damn right delicious food, then look no further because Shuang Shuang delivers just that.

It may look all too confusing and daunting at first but trust me, come the end of the evening, you'll be a hot pot pro. Honestly it's simple stuff and the ever so friendly staff are there to help and explain the concept behind the place.

There are a variety of flavoursome broths to choose from, each one sounding just as enticing as the other and all accompanied with a dipping sauce and garnish. Once you've chosen your tonic, just fire away and get stuck in with all the many dishes on offer. See I told you it's simple. 

The restaurant is all about it's conveyor belt service, think Yo Sushi but on a much more grander scale and far more superior . Seriously the amount of dishes revolving around will blow you away. 
Fresh vegetables (I recommend the mushrooms), different types of meat (chicken, beef, pork) and fish (scallops prawns) as well as a variety of noodles (egg, vermicelli) all slide by awaiting to be cooked in the broth. Not only that if there's something on the menu that you like but its not on the conveyor belt, then the chefs are on hand to prepare it.

As I mentioned the earlier, the broths are fragrant and flavoursome and cooking with all these ingredients enhances it even more. There's no MSG or artificial bullshit either. And the great thing is, although it might not be necessary, is that you can top up your broth for free!. 
The broths can get very hot, but there is a panel on your section which allows you to moderate the temperature as and when you like.

FoodPunkers, I highly recommend that you go for a few snacks especially the crispy pigs ear in cumin and chilli. They certainly pack a punch and the scallop and prawn fritters are to die for. If things do get a little heated, the refreshing oolong tea will certainly tone things down. 

Crispy Pigs Ear With Cumin & Chilli

Scallop & Prawn Fritters

Oolong Tea

Its about time that London had a hot pot restaurant that allows people to get stuck in and do a bit of DIY cooking and not only that Shuang Shuang is certainly not on the expensive side. 

Get down to this joint and show everyone your Shuang ;)