Hoppers Marlyebone

It is amazing what restaurants will charge you for these days.  Maybe they have heard a bit too much of how Ryanair was thinking about charging for use of the toilets.  Which seemed rather counterproductive to me, if you didn’t have the cash to pay for a “deposit” in a cubicle, would you just do it in your seat?  Surely that would cost more to clean up than the toilet fee.  Although perhaps we should be thankful that at least there was not thoughts of trying to charge for the air you breathe – that would be novel and potentially suffocating.

Attempts to get as much cash as possible out of a patron sometimes starts with something less nefarious such as an attempt to guilt trip you into helping to pay the employee’s wages through numerous addon to the bill with “cleaning”, “gratitude” or “people” fees.  My concern is that I had always thought that was what “service” charge is for, although that seems to be fast becoming a mandatory element of the meal charge.

Another sneaky trick I’ve encountered is the incomprehension in some places of what “tap water” is.  It just doesn’t seem to exist in some places.  Either that, or people are suddenly struck dumb when it is mentioned.  In a high-inflation environment, I have a right to save a penny here and there too.

On that last point, perhaps that goes some way to explaining the plating at Hoppers.  Seems metal plates are in vogue nowadays, such as from my visit to Tamil Crown.  Also, probably fairly unbreakable.  So if that was the case, either this plate was artfully warped or someone in the kitchen has a temper issue.  I’m not sure which is better as an excuse of what we had.

Lamb kari.  Dishes on offer were mainly of the heavy saucy style.  A curry that was strangely rather dry.  The lamb chunks I had were tasty if lacking in moisture.  This kari was missing most of the sauce but perhaps this is just the style now a days in these cost cutting days.  It wasn’t as good as when I last had it, that was 8 years ago though…

Egg hopper.  Crispy with egg white at the bottom.  Crispy, tasty and filling.  Excellent.

Lamb kothu roti.  A strange shredded roti topped with minced greens.  Fairly forgettable as the lamb pieces were somewhat minuscule and when combined with the slightly larger pieces of roti, created an amalgamated mess of food in my mouth.  Avoid unless you like an indistinguishable mish-mash of food best suited for those in their sunrise or sunset years.  I’m past one and not yet arrived at the other thank you very much.

At the end of this uninspiring meal, as a parting surprise similar to the way that budget airlines are running, I left here feeling like I was being treated as a walking ATM.  When you are forced to not only enter all your payment details into an app yourself, promptly charged “service charge” for them bringing you the QR code to scan, adding a “charity” donation on top that things get a bit much.  Yet, the greatest gift seems to be them charging a “processing fee” for you to enter all your card details into their online system so that you can pay them!

On this last point, what happened if I didn’t want to?


A quiet eating 5/10.

Lunch (1 course equivalent) was GBP16 excluding extortionate add-ons.



77 Wigmore Street,
London, W1U 1QE

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