Hoppers was founded by JKS Restaurants and Karan Gokani in October 2015. The first Hoppers in Soho was inspired by toddy-shops, home cooking and roadside stalls of Sri Lanka and South India, and served its namesake Hoppers alongside Dosas, Kothu, Short Eats, Rice and Roasts. The acclaim soon followed with reviews from London Evening’s Standard’s Fay Maschler and the late Sunday Times critic A.A. Gill who applauded Hoppers for its “seductive, comehither menu” and “spectacular, impressive, authentic, confident and swaggering kitchen”.
The restaurant went on to secure its Michelin Bib Gourmand in its first year. Following the success of Hoppers Soho, a second Hoppers at Marylebone’s St Christopher’s Place, themed around the iconic Tropical Modernist movement of the late Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, opening in September 2017. Hoppers King’s Cross, the third and largest of the three restaurants opened in February 2020 inspired by the much-travelled coastal journey from Colombo, the island’s capital, to the historical Dutch town of Galle.
Karan Gokani Co-Founder & Creative Director, Hoppers
Karan grew up in Mumbai and moved to England in 2005 to study law at the University of Cambridge. Even as a practicing solicitor, Karan’s passion for food and hospitality never faded and he spent time in professional kitchens in his spare time. In 2012, he left his legal career at a city law firm to pursue a career in hospitality, traveling across India and Sri Lanka to immerse himself in the food and culture of the countries.
Over the years Karan has written travel features and recipes on Sri Lanka and southern India for major national and international publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller and various food festivals across the UK. Karan has also appeared on some of the nation’s favourite TV shows including Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch, Celebrity Masterchef and Jamie Oliver’s £1 meals.
The hotly anticipated debut cookbook from Hoppers was released in Autumn 2022 and soon topped the bestseller ‘cookbook’ lists of the Sunday Times, Financial Times, Evening Standard and BBC Good Food . Written by Karan, the book tells a personal story of the inspiration behind Hoppers and the people and places that shaped it, via recipes and stunning imagery.