With more than just games and alcohol on the cards, our favourite Hoppipola outlet (in Khar) just underwent an exciting revamp! Khevna Pandit visited to get a taste of their new menu
Hoppipola is the perfect hangout place if you’re looking for a change from the usual. Sit back, play a game of Jenga and sway to some EDM while you wolf down a piece of pizza — that is what Hoppi times are about. This Hoppipola outlet has seen many dejected people walk in after being turned away from a packed Khar Social, but this time, it seems as though Hoppipola is back to steal the spotlight. We decided to walk in on a happening Friday night to get a taste of the redone outlet in Khar and here’s what we experienced.
Your weekend rendezvous
You may feel as though nothing has really changed on the inside, but that’s only because Hoppipola still holds its quirky edge. High bar stools, longish bar tables and Greek-inspired décor are all a part of the revamped ambiance. Walking in through the great revolving door will lead you to a dimly-lit restaurant, but your eyes will instantly stop at the brightly illuminated bar that flaunts swanky glasses and the newly introduced nitro-shots. However, we felt that the bar tables were placed too close to the bar; it reminded us of the first bench of our school classroom, but we got used to that in a while. While Hoppipola wants to reach out to a much wider audience, the playlist selection was a mix of music from the 2000s (not that we were complaining), working over in waves of nostalgia.
On the platter
For quick bites, Hoppipola has introduced several new options and all stood out wonderfully. We first tried the Truffle Mushroom Mousse with Melba Toast (Rs 195). The creamy paste of mushroom might look unappetising, but give it a try. The smooth texture of the mushroom mousse and the crispy Melba toast makes this something that you will want to keep munching on throughout the evening. Next, we tried the paper thin Mushroom Pizza (Rs 295). I for one love mushrooms, and the menu was off to an incredible start. The salty mushroom pieces and crunchy pizza base didn’t get soggy even though we forgot about them for an hour. I’d definitely call for another round! They also had a few options from the Asian kitchen, and we tried the Paneer Bao (Rs 175), which was served precariously on our table. Even though the bao was soft and not too chewy and the filling was well cooked, we didn’t find ourselves reaching out for more, which was strange — it was more because we couldn’t get enough of the pizza. It took us three attempts to order the much awaited Pav Bhaaji Fondue (Rs 225), but the fondue was nothing like Pav Bhaaji — and the bread was definitely nothing like pav!
On the rocks
What could be better than drinks with a twist? If you like to play with your food, Hoppipola’s new drinks menu will stun you. Presented extraordinarily and looking somewhat gaudy, these drinks are an ideal pick for a wild night out with your friends. We tried The Bird Cage (Rs 895), the Blood Bank (Rs 395) and the Hopcycle (Rs 445). Literally presented in a bird cage (with two straws), the Bird Cage is a mix of Kiwi and white rum. It comes in a bucket surrounded by dry ice. We didn’t get the point of it either, but we liked how it tasted. The Blood Bank was an intravenous pipe (yes, literally!) with a mix of Bacardi and cranberry juice. While it may seem like fun and games for the first few minutes, you’ll find yourself eventually bored and will want to ditch the pipe. The Hopcycle was a cute bicycle with a drink in its basket coupled with marshmallows. It was a surprising blend of vodka and nutella, and while it did sound like the perfect drink for the night, it only ended up tasting heady and unsettling.
A fun new alternative on their menu is their range of edible shots. We called for the Oreoello (Rs 99), the Fructose (Rs 99) and the Campfire Shots (Rs 295). The Oreoello looks like a regular Oreo biscuit, but bite into it and you will feel the sharp flavours of Old Monk kicking in! Fructose was a frozen piece of watermelon dipped in rum. While it looked fun to gnaw on, you don’t really want to spend your time nibbling on a frozen fruit on a Saturday night with friends — alcohol or no alcohol. The Campfire Shots were an epic fail that included marshmallows dipped in vodka with a candle to roast them before eating. No matter how hard we tried, the candle flickered away in the strong air conditioned room, leaving us to munch on regular vodka-soaked marshmallows. Edible shots were a lot of fun to try, we must admit, but do you feel the high you are aiming for? Not really.
Summing it up
Hoppipola is still a fun alternative to Khar Social, with its lively music and board games that we really adore, but some of the new additions to the menu didn’t stand out. While we’d love to return for a fun night out, we’d definitely want to pick the older versions of the alcohol instead!
Where 757, Ramee Guestline Hotel, MD Ali Quereshi Chowk, S.V. Road, Khar
Meal for two Rs 1,500
Alcohol served Yes (a pint of beer costs Rs 150 )