For our more comprehensive list of place to get hoppers, check this out: Hoppers In Colombo.
On the way back from mosque, Halik Azeez and I were craving some hoppers. As we turned the corner from the 24 hour Harbour Stop, which doesn’t have hoppers, we serendipitously came across York Street By Night. Apparently every Friday and Saturday the Grand Oriental Hotel sets up chairs and tables on the street and serves hoppers under the moon.
The Grand Oriental Hotel remains one of the best locations in Sri Lanka, despite being a woefully neglected hotel. The view from their Harbour Room is perhaps the best in the city, though at YAMU we only recommend it as a bar. The general standards of food and accommodation at the GOH is quite low, though it must be said that the service is quite nice. A bit hapless, but nice.
York Street is also one of the nicest streets in Colombo, and also neglected. This was once the center of the city, with the red brick Cargills building and leading right to the Ports Authority. As Colombo is being redone this will be bustling again, but for now you can enjoy the fantastic space in relative isolation.
When we arrived we were the only people there. Perhaps seeing us, other people joined, but there were never more than 15 people there. The DJ music kept skipping and the hoppers were middling (plus the katta sambol was just chopped onion and chili), but it remains a lovely space.
There’s a strange statue of a coolie carrying a white man on one end and the beautiful archways of colonial era construction all around. It’s a bit like being in a time warp, or a city after some sort of zombie apocalypse, now cleaned up and returned to normal. You feel like more people should be there, because the space is majestic and built for it. But it’s just you, usually outnumbered by staff. Colombo is changing, so enjoy the absurdity while you can.