“Forget the Whopper, have a hopper next time you’re struggling after a big night out.” This could be the best marketing slogan to come out of 2016, but owners at Hopper Kadé, Kumar Pereira and Ruvanie de Zoysa, are sticking by it. Hoppers are bowl-shaped pancakes with sweet or savoury fillings. A newcomer to the Sydney food-scene — the hopper — is selling like hot cakes at the pair’s Saturday morning market stall at Orangegrove markets in Lilyfield, in Sydney’s inner west. Sydney’s street food-savvy crowd has quickly embraced the hoppers, and Mr Pereira and Ms de Zoysa say the only major hurdle they’ve had so far is trying to keep up with demand.
“Every weekend, we increase the number of hoppers we serve, yet every Saturday, we sell out well before the markets close,” Ms de Zoysa said.
Mr Pereira, who is a MasterChef alumni, said it took him four years to master the recipe, and Ms de Zoysa said she was blown away by how successful their venture had been.
“Kumar and I both have roots in Sri Lanka and love hoppers, but struggled to find them in Sydney so we decided to start making them ourselves,” Ms de Zoysa said.
“We also gave the traditional dish a delectable and nutritious revamp.”
“There was just nothing around like it, and we kept saying to ourselves why hasn’t this been done here?”
While traditionally the hopper is made with a base of white wheat flour, Ms de Zoysa said the Hopper Kadé pancake bowls are made of coconut water, spices and naturally fermented red rice flour.
“The ingredients make the hopper not only nutritious (and gluten, dairy-free, and refined sugar free) but the fermentation process removes phytic acid from the rice,” she said.
“The acid is found in most grains, and can reduce the body’s mineral and vitamin absorption.
“Our goal was to produce fast food with wholefood values.”
The Hopper Kadé accompaniments are seasonally sourced where possible and range from the Sri Lankan and Australian breakfast fusion: Bacon and Egg hopper (poached free range egg with caramelised bacon crumb with roasted chilli tomatoes) to the Vegetarian Hopper (poached free range egg, green vegetable mallung, lentil curry, coconut sambal, with a refreshing fennel and cucumber pickle), which is a completely alkaline food sensation.