Hoppa (Galle Fort).

When you're in Galle, there are a bunch of things that you can do. Take a walk on the ramparts, chill out on the beach, check out the beauty of the Dutch architecture, visit the museums, and of course, EAT! It's the most important part of the tour because you might get bored of all the other activities but not this. 
 
Galle is the home for a ton of good restaurants that offer up a massive variety of food. Be it Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Italian or Western, this town has got you covered. 
 
Ever since Sarah's recent visit to Galle, she was telling me to check out this cute, little restaurant in Galle Fort called "Hoppa", and that's exactly what I did during my weekend here. Being one of the few restaurants in Galle that offers up some authentic Sri Lankan fare, with a unique twist of their own, it became an instant favorite of ours. 

Food & Drinks

Hoppa does some good hoppers, in many interesting ways and they pair it with delicious curries. They also dish out a range of roti and rice & curry, which is only available during lunchtime. As for drinks, they've got juices, iced tea and of course, beer. 

Featured here is the Cheese Hoppa Set with Prawns (Rs. 1095), which came with two plain hoppers, one cheese hopper and sides of prawn curry, pol sambol, seeni sambol and katta sambol.

Light, incredibly milky, and with lots of crispiness, these hoppers were excellently prepared, and we devoured it. The cheese hopper was especially good with a generous layer of chewy buffalo mozzarella in the middle. The mozzarella certainly did a really good job of adding to the overall milkyness. However, the only downer was that they didn't have the soft center that one would expect from a regular hopper. 

The prawn curry was cooked with a dose of Southern love. Its gravy wasn't overly creamy and boasted a rich lemongrass-y flavor along with strong hits of curry. The balance between milkiness and spiciness was on point, which makes it capable of satiating both Sri Lankan and Western palates.

There were around five adequately cooked, deliciously chewy jumbo prawns in it. We loved this – so much so we ordered a portion of their Sticky Rice (Rs. 200) simply because we didn't want to torture ourselves on the next day for leaving it unfinished. 

The overall flavor of this platter was all about balance – a bit of heat from the katta sambol,  a tinge of sweetness from the seeni sambol, a lot of curry taste from the prawn curry and a teeny tiny sour punch from the pol sambol. It's a classic Sri Lankan delicacy.

We also tried their Currylicious Hopper (Rs. 165), which is essentially a plain hopper embedded with a handful of fried karapincha (curry leaves). Karapincha is a beloved, fragrant leaf we find in Sri Lankan culinary affair, simply because of the magic it works on our dishes. Instead of adding the usual leafy flavor to the dish, karapincha gives out this delicate aroma which instantly increases your appetite. It simply makes everything better, and what it did to this hopper wasn't any less different. We highly recommend you try this out. 

Generously stuffed with shredded chicken and served with sides of mustard dressing and seeni sambol, the Chick Roti (Rs. 840) is a good alternative for your sudden pol roti cravings. However, we found the roti to be a bit too doughy, but we didn't mind as long as the chicken and embedded karapincha worked their magic. The hint of sourness that comes from the mustard sauce was a nice touch as well. 

For our drinks, we ordered their Narang Juice and Watermelon Juice. 

Priced at Rs. 250, they were served in decent glasses and had the natural flavors on point. There was very less sugar in both of them, so you can actually get the natural sweetness perfectly. They did a very good job in cooling us down, and quenching our thirst on a very sunny Sunday afternoon in Galle.

Ambience & Service

The first thing you should know about their ambience is, it's bloody darn cute! It's tiny, and it would be a tight fit if more than 10 people dine-in at a time, but with the cushion seating and beautiful wooden furniture, it gives out a really cozy vibe. Each table has this tiny bell which you can ring if you want to speak to one of the staff members.

According to Sarah, once the Galle Fort gets all calmed down in the evening, they arrange their tables outside so you can enjoy your meals on the Pedlar Street itself, under the Galle sky.

Conclusion

All in all, we loved our experience at Hoppa. We liked the fact that they serve hoppers all day, and how they pair it with delicious curries and condiments. Pricewise, it's steep, we agree, but it wouldn't hurt to check them out if you're ever in Galle and in a mood for some delicious hoppers with a twist. 

*Photographs courtesy of: @raveen.re
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