Anyone who has travelled to stunning Sri Lanka ought to have tried a hopper! The typical street food is one of the island nation's many unique culinary offerings - and now it's gaining ground in Australia.
If you've never heard of hoppers, you're about to! Following a craze in the UK, this healthy fast-food alternative is gaining ground here in Oz, starting with the opening of a new Sri Lankan eatery.
Hopper Kadé is serving up traditional, Hawker-style dishes to patrons of Sydney's hot new dining precinct, Tramsheds.
Despite starting as a humble market stall less than a year ago, Hopper Kadé's presence in a coveted up-market foodie spot signifies the debut of Sri Lankan cuisine into the Australian mainstream.
Hopper Kadé specialises in hoppers: a kind of bowl-shaped pancake made from fermented rice flour. The sides are crispy, the base is sponge-like, and the structure means it's perfect for holding all matter of toppings and fillings.
"They are traditionally eaten quite simply, primarily at breakfast," Hopper Kadé owner, Ruvanie de Zoysa, explains. "A typical combination is something like - one egg hopper, two plain hoppers, some lunu minis - fiery onion sambol - and perhaps a curry, fish or chicken usually."
The idea for Hopper Kadé was born after Ruvanie combined a typically Sri Lankan love of feeding people with her desire to provide a healthy, fast-food meal to Australians.
"I think there is a trend towards healthier food options in particular food on-the-go. People like to have their treats and comfort food, but in general people are becoming more and more aware of the correlation between diet and health," Ruvanie told Lifestyle.
"We offer customers the choice of gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free options, because we feel people should have the choice to eat healthy when they want to without having to compromise too much on the taste."
As Hopper Kadé proves, these savoury pancakes can be eaten with just about anything, from traditional curries to the sweeter-style yoghurt and 'kitul' syrup.
With the number of Aussies now flocking to Sri Lanka as a travel destination, we're sure they're going to need somewhere to satisfy their hopper cravings when they return home!