The end of the week is the start of rekindling the connection between us. A lunch or dinner date, a movie, may be a stroll around the best city in the world. Not to mention we try to match the breathes we inhale and exhale with the number of photos we take of everything. Last weekend was yet another attempt to foray into this ritual by immersing ourselves in the amazing mazes of Soho in Central London.
By defying the unusually strong gust and its grey partner clouds, we had a short walk from Covent Garden to Soho to discover this new Sri Lankan eatery called Hoppers. It may be possible that you will not find out this tiny little joint in Frith Street unless you see a queue of hungry diners lined up to sign up their names in the waiting list. The restaurant did have a banner with its name in front but the poor display was so busy battling the whims of the strong winds that any roving eye would have surely missed it.
Our wait in anticipation was luckily not very long, we settled for a quick coffee next door while the staff promised to notify us via mobile as soon as our table for two gets free. We really liked how they were using technology to keep the guests in waiting informed. Note that they don’t take any reservations, it is only walk in.
The restaurant was the size of a studio flat in London but packed with people devouring the authentic delicacies made with the Ceylon recipes. Honestly the place was so crammed that not even the frantic waiters could pass easily without conducting some careful collision avoidance with their colleagues or the patrons. Moreover the chill in the air naturally meant that people were wearing more than they would have during summer. There was limited space to park your own derriere, so your belonging had to really fight for some space. At one point while we were trying out the Hoppers and the Dosa as appetisers, we had to turn away our waiter who came with the main course since the table didn’t have any space.
The buffalo biriyani with duck eggs and aubergine chutney and raita was a dish which screamed out to score very high with its authentic taste amidst roaring loud claps of salivation and adulation from each and every participating taste bud. It was simply awesome and a must try. The aroma of the spices and their visual melange with the rice and the frequent spotting of the tender buffalo meat were a testimony of long queues outside and the near suffocating lack of space inside the premises. No wonder why even the TimeOut London was impressed to recommend this restaurant to its ever curious enthusiastic city dwellers.
Exorbitantly stuffed with the Sri Lankan lunch where the inflated stomachs were engaged in an increasing tension with the clothes we were wearing – time was ripe to take a much needed post meal wandering in the ‘Oh So Happening Soho’. We hopped in to Hotel Chocolat to explore the variety of Chocolate sins they displayed for Christmas. There was no space in Shehzaad’s stomach other than letting Oxygen in, so he could not even manage to try out a small bite of the uncontrollable chocolates at Hotel Chocolat.
Next was the pleasant discovery of newly renovated Picturehouse Central at Shaftesbury Avenue. We were late to be informed that the Cineworld had been converted into this nicely decorated venue with a retro look, unfinished ceilings and a relaxed lounge environment. We idled around in the couch for a good couple of hours to contemplate and absorb the vibe of the place while sipping some Earl Grey tea.
As they say, when you get bored of London, you get bored of life. Every moment is an opportunity here to treat your taste, your eyes or your feelings when you connect and cuddle with your loved one. The lights are always ON in LONDON.