Coming Soon: Sri Lankan Hoppers Get the Spotlight at This New Prahran Diner From the Founder of Entrecôte

These light, crispy bowl-shaped pancakes take centre stage at the Hopper Joint.
Andrew Zuccala
Published on March 19, 2024

Jason M Jones of Caboodle & Co and Entrecôte (one of the best French restaurants in Melbourne) has teamed up with designer Brahman Perera to launch a bright new Sri Lankan restaurant in Prahran called Hopper Joint.

Located just a few doors down from Entrecôte, the new venture will champion the humble hopper when it opens on Friday, March 22. The light and crispy bowl-shaped pancakes are a staple of Sri Lankan cuisine and at Hopper Joint will be made to order in the 80-seat restaurant's open kitchen, giving diners a chance to see the dedication and skill that goes into constructing these delicate shells.

Hopper Joint Sri Lankan restaurant in Prahran

That art will be left to Head Chef Ronith Victor Arlikatti (ex-Sunda and Marion), who'll be leaning on the experience of Perera, Jones and Executive Chef of Caboodle & Co Jason Rodwell to create a carefully considered food offering. They'll be adapting family recipes handed down through generations, deciding when to stay traditional and when to add more contemporary flourishes.

Apart from hoppers, there'll also be a tight selection of curries, sambols, street food snacks and desserts.

The team is also working hard to infuse the dining experience with Sri Lankan culture beyond what's on the plate. Punters will be encouraged to eat with their hands, as the team will direct them to the communal washbasin and a commissioned artwork by expat and friend Edwina Thomson illustrating the 'how-to' of eating hoppers.

Hopper Joint Sri Lankan restaurant in Prahran

Each table will also get an antique brass bell, a nod to Sri Lankan customs, that, if misused, incurs a 'fine'. Ring the bell when it's inappropriate (to be honest, we aren't entirely sure what constitutes an appropriate time for ringing it), and you'll be asked to donate some cash to a charity of Hopper Joint's choosing.

The space has also been designed by Perera himself, made to feel like you're stepping into a traditional colonial bungalow found high up in the Tea Country of southern Sri Lanka, filled with rattan seating and fans, amber glassware and chandeliers, timber shutters and blood-red cork floors.

Jones and Perera have been working on Hopper Joint for over eight years now, spending this time collecting decor as well as fine-tuning the menu and atmosphere they've been wanting to get just right. And come Friday, March 22, they'll be sharing it with Melbourne.

Hopper Joint will be found at 157 Greville Street, Prahran, from Friday, March 22. It will be open Monday–Thursday from 5pm till late and
Friday–Sunday from 12pm till late. For more information on the new restaurant opening, head to the venue's website.

Images: Annika Kafcaloudi

Published on March 19, 2024 by Andrew Zuccala
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x