With the year drawing to a close there’s a few things I have to mention, all handsomely of the Asian persuasion.  Two of which are Karam Sethi creations, the first, celebrated sister restaurant of Gymkhana, Trishna in Marylebone.

I went for lunch with my family, in their cosy wooden panelled restaurant, with faded mirrors and an old colonial feel similar to Dishoom.  I often find at Indian restaurants the starters outshine the main, and Trishna was no exception, not to say the mains weren’t great but if I were to go again I’d double up on starters and maybe push to a biriyani.  Stand-out dishes included the soft shell crab, aloo chat and sea bream. Service was good, the Maitre D seemed to be training the staff on the job, I thought he might clip a waiter’s ear at some point but in an entertaining way rather than abusive.

Aloo chat

Aloo chat

Soft shell crab

Soft shell crab

Sea bream

Sea bream


Rabbit naan, rabbit masala and rabbit samosa

The following week I visited Sethi’s newest brainchild, South Indian and Sri Lankan restaurant, Hoppers in Soho, with a similar decor to Trishna but on a smaller scale so you’ll definitely make friends or enemies with your neighbouring diners.  Hoppers are bowl-shaped pancake made from a fermented rice flour batter and are one of my favourite foods in the whole world, no pressure.  My friend Beanie came with me, having visited Sri Lanka a couple of times she also had high expectations.  The starters, curries and sambols were delicious, (though they have no vegan and vegetarian alternatives) but the hopper itself (yes I only had one!) lacked the crisp edges I was craving.  I associate a ‘hopper feed’ with hoppers rolling out of the kitchen piping hot, eaten immediately, our visit was unfortunately interrupted with two fire alarms and I did wonder if the packed restaurant was struggling with getting orders out fresh.

Bone marrow varuval

Bone marrow varuval


I was surprised by the dessert, a sweet hopper with kithul treacle. also served with a scoop of Durian ice cream, which divided Beanie and I, I loved it, though it is a pungent, marmite fruit.  Seeing as the concept of the restaurant was a no reservations, fast dining, we racked up a large bill for what it was.  I’m not completely dissuaded from going again, I think it’s fantastic that hoppers are becoming a regular on the london scene, along with the success of Weligama but I guess for those that are an old hand at eating hoppers, the flaws are more prominent.

Finally the last thing I’d like to talk about is a cookbook launch I came across with fellow blogger Suji.  The book is called Handmade and it is a collection of recipes from women from Sri Lanka that lived through the civil war.  It was made by a charity called Palmera with the help of Builiding Blocks too.  Suji and I met atop a pub in the city where they held some speeches and had a few tasters from the book, it was really nice to experience the buzz surrounding a Sri Lankan cookbook.



I for one was unfamiliar with a lot of the Tamil recipes and am excited to work my way through it.  It is very unusual to look at the acknowledgements of a cookbook and not have it credit a food stylist and prop stylist, but it still fits in on the shelves.  Though this is not a quick inspiration cookbook, in it lies the stories of the women, how they fed their families during the war and the impact food had on them.  It is a really interesting account if you’re able to get hold of a copy, as I said, I look forward to trialling some recipes, and of course I’ll blog about them too.


So that’s it folks, I hope I’ll get time to fit in another post before 2016 but if not I wish you the best of holidays and see you in the New Year!

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