by Thilak S. Fernando

Lip smacking gastronomy to the Sri Lankan palate, rhythmic flinging beat to the yearning dancing feet to both young and the old, and soul refreshing lively music to blend with the informal setting, there is no other place in London like the ‘Hopper Night’ at Lihiniya.

‘Hopper Nite’ is a new concept introduced by Lihiniya Restaurant at Cricklewood and its preliminary session was held on 1 December 2000. According to the Lihiniya management, this is going to be a regular feature on a monthly basis, on the first Friday weekend, commencing at 7 p.m.

Entrance to the occasion is free and the participants can bring their guests, wives, and girl friends and swing along, till early hours of Saturday, to the magnificent, vibrant music of Ronald Williams and Isuru, the famous two-man-band, which had made their mark in Sri Lanka. From the writer’s personal experience on the first Hopper Nite, Ronald Williams and Isuru Band could be recommended to any prospective party for their colourful and quality music which is flawlessly blended with William’s rendition of Sinhala, Western and even Baila, with his own style and own composition of lyrics.

‘Hopper Nite’, as the name suggests, will provide a set menu of hoppers (plain and egg) with a side dish and seeni sambol. As an alternative, String hoppers will fill the gap, both at an unbelievable give away price of £5/- a portion. For those who like the liquid nourishment to boost up their nerves before getting on to the dance floor a bar will also be open, supplemented by a variety of hot food, ranging from Masala Vade` to Spring and Chinese Rolls, cutlets etc.

Lihiniya Restaurant has more or less become the focal rendezvous for most of the Sri Lankan needs, functions and occasions now. Seemingly the penny is dropping on Sri Lankan expatriates to recognise its accommodative facilities and friendly environment and the patriotic link extended by the Lihiniya management. ‘Hopper Nite’ is bound to teleport every Sri Lankan to the motherland, in mind and thought instantaneously, as one meets and intermingle with other fellow Sri Lankans.

Hopper Nite is assured to break all records in London, the Lihiniya Management believes, as it will offer a good night’s entertainment with dancing, singing, wining and dining in a completely Sri Lankan ambience.