(Bloomberg) — Hoppers restaurant was a sensation when it opened in London’s Soho in 2015.
Diners were unfamiliar with Sri Lankan cuisine, and long queues formed. You might wait two hours to enjoy inexpensive dishes, whose spicing was subtly different from the north Indian restaurants for which the city is well known. Five years on and there are now three Hoppers outlets, where you can book tables in advance. The long lines are gone but the popularity and quality remain.
Hoppers’ director, Karan Gokani, didn’t train as a professional chef. He’s a former lawyer and worked for Linklaters before entering the restaurant business. (Hoppers is owned by JKS Restaurants, of which his wife Sunaina Sethi was one of the three founders, with her brothers Karam and Jyotin. Karam is among the U.K.’s most influential chefs, known for restaurants such as Gymkhana.)
But Karan is accomplished in