'Lankan' street-food stall, Hopper Kadé went from pop-up to permanent yesterday with the opening of a new restaurant in Darlinghurst.
The new opening is a culmination of founders, Ruvanie De Zoysa and Chris Goffin’s two years on the Sydney street food circuit, including a stall at Orange Grove Markets and hugely successful pop-up restaurant at Tramsheds. Serving Modern Lankan street food, Hopper Kadé will fuse traditional Sri Lankan flavours and traditions with western cooking techniques and Australian influences.
After introducing Sydneysiders to the hopper (a Sri Lankan bowl-shaped crepe) at their pop-ups, the duo have worked closely with Head Chef, Diago Fernandez to expand on their signature Hopper menu and create a premium food offering for casual dining. The permanent fixture will also allow for an extended menu spanning brunch, lunch and dinner. Complementing the informal menu, Hopper Kadé will open as a BYO restaurant, before becoming fully licensed in the months to come.
Brunch options include Lankan jaffles, Roti wraps and sweets such as Chai-spiced banana loaf from 8am, with the full menu offered from 11am. Available for lunch (Tuesday – Sunday) and dinner (Thursday – Saturday) Hopper Kadé’s famed hoppers will be on the menu alongside modern street food dishes designed to share. Made in-house from fermented rice flour and coconut milk, hoppers are naturally dairy and gluten free, filled with a free-range egg and never before seen additions such as Lankan-spiced 12-hour beef brisket and pulled pork.
In addition to Hoppers, the menu features Roti wraps, a Sri Lankan roti filled with biryani rice, pickle and hung yoghurt and Biryani plates made with a base of biryani rice, topped with pickle, coconut sambol and a choice of fillings such as beetroot curry or spiced chicken. Sharing dishes include Cuttlefish salad, with papaya, cashew chilli curry leaf crumb, fresh herbs and lime dressing and Lankan lamb ribs, slow cooked and served with Kadé pickle and coconut sambol.
The drinks offering features local Aussie producers including coffee by Byron Bay’s The Black Lab and teas from Tea Craft, who have partnered with Hopper Kadé to create a bespoke chai-turmeric blend. Be sure to order the house-made Mango Lassie for a refreshing accompaniment to the Sri Lankan flavours.
‘We’ve been blown away with the success of our pop-ups and are thrilled to be opening the doors to our first permanent home. I hope we can continue to feed our loyal followers, while introducing a new legion of fans to this fresh and flavourful cuisine’ said De Zoysa.
‘We’ve decided to mix things up a bit – combining subcontinental dishes with Australian ingredients and flavour combinations to create a new style of cooking. ‘Lankan’ is the slang term for Sri Lanka used by the younger generation, which we feel is a nod to the modern take on the food at Hopper Kadé. The menu will celebrate the best of both worlds, offering exciting new options and of course, the Sri Lankan staple, the humble hopper!’ she adds.
Hopper Kadé (translated as hopper shop) will echo the informal street feel of its former incarnations. Taking residence in a former café, interiors consultant, Kathy McKinnon has collaborated with De Zoysa and Goffin to refresh the space. An enormous bi-fold window will serve as a take-away bar onto the street, framed by whitewashed wood and tropical greenery. Inside, classical Singhalese script is graffitied on the walls; while dark wood tables are punctuated by low hanging lights and shelving decorated with spices and curiosities from the duos travels. In time, De Zoysa will make these Sri Lankan wares available to the public along with Hopper Kadé’s own retail range of oils, curry pastes, spice rubs and sauces.