thanks to iant and balex for pointing me in the direction of hoppers. it was a perfect casual meal between meetings on a hot day in london. i got there at 1.30 on a weekday and only had to wait about 10 minutes. and by 2.30 it was pretty empty--so if you're able to eat late you should do that. the food was very good, i thought. it's really more of a mix of sri lankan, (indian) tamil and malayali (kerala) food. the heat levels were more toned down than i was expecting and execution was not always at a high level (slightly overcooked pork in the black pork kari) but at these prices it's hard to complain--less than half of what i paid at trishna for food that was quite a lot more than half as good, and quite a lot of it. and so much better than most of what's available in the u.s.
my spring return is suddenly looking a bit shaky (wobbly enrollment in the off-campus program i'm supposed to be leading) but if all goes well and we make it, i'm far more likely to eat here again than at trishna, even though i concede that trishna is the better restaurant.
by the way, never having encountered bone marrow varuval before i can only assume that this is another tribute to fergus henderson and his stature in this city.