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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hoppipolla comes to Mumbai

In 80’s College canteen was the place where youngster used to hang out. In between lectures, youngsters slipped into canteen to enjoy the fun times over cup of tea, sometimes sitting long hours on those wooden benches, it was a good place to while away the time, where  new friends were made, food was shared and days passed well in laughter and games. But things have changed. Presently, Mumbai is full of such hangout, dotted in different parts of the city and Hoppipolla is the new addition for youngsters to laze around over glass of beer.

Hoppipolla that literally means ‘hopping in the puddles’ is inspired from the song by Icelandic band Sigor Ros from their 2005 album. And that is the idea adopted by this restaurant that makes its debut appearance in Mumbai after its success in Bangalore and Pune.

Although the restaurant has some strict rules, it is a fun place where young and old can shed off their age difference and engage in fun activities over pastas, pizzas and drinks.The prices are affordable ranging from as low as Rs90 for peanut bhel to Rs295 for a hard drink.

The restaurant is separated into two sections: AC and non-AC.

Sit anywhere, the ambience is vibrant. The high ceiling interior has props like air planes, there is a huge bar and an open kitchen, one of the walls is decorated with trophy cups, the winners hold the trophy and enjoy one minute of fame by posing for a picture after having won some game or competition. A quiet Video corner had indoor board games and comic too to bring alive the child in them. I saw one set of youngster enjoying the game of Taboo and Jenga over the cups of Sangrias.

Non-AC area is in the open, surrounded by trees, birdhouses decorate one of the walls that have surprise elements behind the tiny door.

All tables have black granite top on which people can doodle with colored chalk, while they wait for their order to arrive.

There was a great variety that restaurant had to offer

Must try their drink watermelon with basil.

I loved the presentations. A special mention to Crispy pizzas with meat balls which was a delight. Finger foods were served in colorful crockery of bright vibrant colors, blues, orange, red, etc. that can attract even a person who is high on alcohol.

I was disappointed with seafood dishes like Fish and chips, shrimps and fish fingers. They were too salty. I was drooling at the first glance of Fish and Chips, the presentation was tempting but I immediately looked for large spittoon after the first bite. It was pretty terrible.

Unfortunately, there are no hot beverages like tea and coffee nor are there any desserts, the restaurant believes in the pleasure of hard drinks, the games like gulping down endless glasses of beer in seconds is the new pastime for youngsters.

Although they have board games comics and books to keep the youngsters occupied at the restaurant, I am not sure if this concept is going to last for long. Youngster might stay in the restaurant for example, maybe 5-6 hours at a stretch, engrossed in group activities or other board games but they may not continuously eat or drink…that means that although there is crowd of youngsters having fun, restaurant sales may not shoot up because tables may not be vacant for new customers to walk in, and that is the bad news for restaurant looking for business.

However, this is a great place to be for fun afternoon to enjoy the game or two over drinks, or to enjoy loud music at the bar till late nights. There is a big screen at one end of the room, which may come alive on Karaoke nights or on those days when there is live telecast of football or cricket match.

I heard many youngsters say that they would love to hang out at this Hoppipola… It did appeal to them…

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