The Place: If you had to show someone what it’s like to live and eat in Mumbai and had only an hour to accomplish it, you probably could get the job done with a visit to Hoppipola, Khar. This bar and restaurant by Speciality Restaurants, the hospitality company behind eateries like Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta, is bohemian and homey – just like the maximum city.
Groups engaged in a round of Scrabble, Monopoly, UNO, Jenga or Taboo is a common sight as against couples posing for selfies. And those who couldn’t get their hands on a box are busy playing knots and crosses on the slate-covered tabletops using the chalks provided. Hoppipola is playful, unpretentious and totally fun. While the white walls, stained glass windows and decorative floor tiles lend Hoppipola a very Greek personality, the cuckoo clocks, suspended airplane models and revolving French doors ring in a quirky vibe.
Nothing can get better than a fresh and light salad on a summer afternoon. The Smart Bhel Salad with watermelon, arugula, feta, rice crisps, crushed nachos and house dressing hits all the right spots. Another stellar dish is the Timepass Platter with schezwan channa jor garam and our favourite peri peri cheeselings. The chicken popcorn sprinkled with a Mediterranean spice rub and served with spicy siracha is quite addictive.
Vegetarians will love the crispy batata buns – fried bun sliders stuffed with batatawada. The old monk chicken wings are both sleek and playful. Mains include crowd pleasers such as hakka noodles, grilled chicken with mash, pasta and bento boxes stuffed with butter chicken and Thai curry. But the piece de résistance here is the pizza. Try the chicken tikka pizza. I guarantee the world will feel better within two tiny mouthfuls.
The cocktail menu by liquid chef Sandeep Sharma straddles the line between sophistication and inventiveness. Try the Jager Goes Long. The drink which combines Jagermeister, Vodka, Rum, Gin and Orange Liqueur comes in a lantern! And if balloons make you happy go for the Tipsy Anna that gives you a chance to burst the balloon and sip your drink. For desserts try the Kulfipannacotta with bourbon caramel. Sweet and aromatic, it was summer in a bowl. Portion sizes are generous but it doesn’t leave you prostrated.Would we return? We'd happily move in.
BTW: Hoppipola is a song by Icelandic band Sigur Rós from their 2005 album Takk.
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Where: 757, Ramee Guestline Hotel, MD Ali Quereshi Chowk, S.V. Road, Khar, Mumbai. Tel: +91 7710010233/ 7710010232
Cost for two: Rs 2000 with drinks
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Image courtesy: From the outlet