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HOW IT ALL BEGAN

From Bremi & Mr Jones

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Our journey to this moment has been fuelled by dreams, heritage, and an unwavering passion for sharing the essence of Sri Lanka with Melbourne. Eight years ago, the seed of Hopper Joint was planted. What began as a shared dream between us, has now blossomed into an 80-seat sanctuary dedicated to celebrating Sri Lankan cuisine and culture, promising an electrifying hopper party every night.

At Caboodle & Co., we’re united by a mission to 'create spaces that escape the ordinary'. This mission is not just a statement but a reflection of our journey together - from the inception of Entrecôte to the anticipation surrounding Gigi Champagne Bar, and now, Hopper Joint. Our vision is to see Greville Street reborn, a place where the heartbeats of Melbourne's cultural and dining experiences resonate once again.

The soul of Hopper Joint lies not just in its food but in its very walls, chairs, and lights. Designed by Bremi and myself, the space is a love letter to the tropical modernism of Geoffrey Bawa, interwoven with personal tales and aesthetic nuances that mark our journey. Every piece, from the custom-made rattan chairs to antique chandeliers we found in Weligama and the marigold linen serviettes, carries a piece of Sri Lanka, carefully curated and brought over the oceans to find a new home in Prahran.

The whimsical plaster hand 'lights', a nod to the Bharatanayam dancing Bremi grew up adoring, are the creations of Sydney-based artist Max Rixon. These, alongside commissioned artworks and teak shutters, are not mere decorations but fragments of our heritage, inviting you into a world where every detail tells a story.

 

Leading our kitchen is Ronith Victor Arlikatti and together, we delve into family recipes that have been passed down through generations, each dish a chapter of our story, waiting to be shared. The menu is a tapestry of hoppers, curries, sambols, and desserts, each evoking memories of family gatherings, laughter, and love.

Our open kitchen, the heart of Hopper Joint, is where the magic happens. It’s where the traditional meets the theatrical, inviting you to witness the artistry of hopper making up close. We celebrate the tactile joy of eating with hands, a communal tradition that binds us all, complete with a bespoke basin for washing hands and illustrated guides that weave through the art of this practice.

And then, there’s the playful twist of the antique brass bell at each table. It’s a connection to a custom from back home, inviting interaction and a bit of cheeky fun, with a gentle reminder that with great power comes great responsibility. The ‘fines’ for misuse? They’re our way of giving back, supporting a charity that changes with the seasons.

For us, Hopper Joint is more than just a restaurant. It’s a vessel for our dreams, a canvas for our heritage, and a celebration of the rich tapestry of Sri Lankan life, all seen through the eyes of a boy from Melbourne with deep, unwavering roots in his community. As we continue to weave our narrative into Melbourne's culinary fabric, Hopper Joint stands as a beacon of community, joy, and cultural celebration. 

 

So, here’s to the hopper party – to the stories we’ll share and the memories we’ll create together.

With love and warmth,

Mr Jones & Bremi

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