Life ain’t a rosy paradise, it gives new heights every now and then, new conditions, new hurdles, new rules and then it changes all the rules; but you need to still strive hard and go ahead to live on, you need to find your solace, your stress busters, your moments of disconnect from the maddening world, memories that make you happy… or rather Hoppi! Yes people, an easy solution and defined destination for refueling your lost energy, passion and vigor has arrived at Acropolis mall, Kolkata – it’s Hoppipola! It delivers all the fun that it promises, definitely along with lovely food, super-innovative drinks, vibrant ambiance and warm service 🙂
I was invited to the Bloggers Meet and Food Tasting event at this place, and only after I reached there I realized it’s like a whiff of fresh air for which I was craving for long! The place will surely catch your attention from a distance when you reach the 4th floor of the mall which houses this Icelandic named restaurant under the umbrella of Speciality Restaurants Ltd (which boasts of other award winning brand restaurants like Mainland China, Café Mezzuna, Oh Calcutta, Sigree Global Grill, etc). Like already said, the Icelandic name of this chain of restaurants actually means ‘jumping in puddles’, and I was really curious to check out if my experience will be anything close to this name!
Well, right now this is the only place in town that lets you scribble and draw on your tables, play games, read books, play table soccer, play drinking games, and shake your legs to the awesome music while sipping your favorite cocktail or beer. It pretty much gives you enough space and moments to bring back the child in you who was on the brink of getting lost in this rat race.
This place actually stresses a bit more on alcohol when compared to Café Mezzuna or the likes, so it is an all-day bar and bonhomie! You can stay to yourself by sipping your drink and reading your favorite novel or play some games which are available, maybe with some new group of people. Or else you can go ahead to try your luck at hourly shot competition, the Chuggathon, etc to win goodies and trophies 🙂 But then it’ll be real tough to convince the child inside you to leave this place in the end! And then the food comprises a relatively smaller part of the focus here and comprises mainly of finger foods, pub grubs or bar bites along with some really flavorful comfort mains and few desserts. Again coming back to the bar menu, I should say it’s real fun and moreover they allow you to play with your drink like for example, Da Vinci Tini where you can paint in your glass and pour the drink in that and drink from it.
LOCATION – – – – – This place is located on the 4thfloor of Acropolis Mall at Kasba (beside Geetanjali Stadium). The mall has ample parking space, so no issues in that regard.
AMBIANCE – – – – – Well this is the catalyst which will help you to spend some quality time with that part of you which refuses to grow up! The ambiance is really vibrant, colorful, fun filled, warm, and exudes positivity and happiness. You will fall in love with all its elements right on your first visit, that’s a guarantee from my side. The place is mainly white and blue color themed and even the flooring bears that color and lovely motifs. It has both indoor and outdoor seating, though the outdoor is not close to nature since it is in a mall; but anyway I loved the openness of the outdoor seating along with all the fun elements and pristine décor with light Mediterranean hues. I loved the colored glass walls and separators.
The place has bioscopes installed on walls, table soccer, a library where you can spend some time with the nice collection of books, a video game corner with bean bags, quirky black board tables with boxes of colored chalks on all tables (along with salt and pepper shakers!) so that you can keep on scribbling and drawing while you are waiting for the food.
The ambiance is just too funky and when you look up you will find the ‘sky’ is filled with large and medium sized aeroplanes suspended with strings. The seating is fun yet the design is classy and overall they are comfortable. The music which is played is really awesome, when we were there Linkin Park and Metallica numbers were being played and that’ll surely keep young diners glued to their seats for some more time 🙂
FOOD – – – – – Now coming to the food, the place served quick bar bites along with sumptuous meals with fresh flavors. There is an unorthodox mix of cuisines like – American, Jamaican, Asian, Mediterranean and Italian. The food is not very traditional and specially the drinks. The presentations are sometimes out of the world and the preparation methodology is also pretty unique.
At our food tasting event we were served one nice array of cocktails, starters and mains. Here they are –
a) Harrissan Paneer – The presentation first caught my attention, it was presented on a typical Indian rural miniature cot. It was so unique! The six Paneer pieces were quite nicely sliced and were flavorful, fresh and soft. Of course well garnished and presented as well.
b) Smoking Carlos – The six pieces of well rolled cigars looked so appetizing that we hardly could click any pic! The covering was really crisp and the dip was just right to go with. The jalapeno and corn filling was really so comforting for me.
c) OMG – Another great vegetarian starter tried! One of the best mushroom starters I have tried in a while! There were crisp fried button mushrooms all stuffed with cheese 🙂
a) Chicken Trilogy – Coming to the non-veg starters the Chicken Trilogy was served but here I guess the presentation could have been a bit better. They were three different colored and flavored Chicken satays with total six in numbers. It was nice and tasty but the meat could have been a tad bouncy.
b) Fishful thinking – These are the classic fish fingers with a dip, nice and fresh.
c) The New Age Wing Man – This was the best non-veg starter for sure since it had the juicy bits I was looking for. These are succulent chicken wings drenched in tangy freshly prepared buffalo wing sauce, yummy!
a) Cup of Oriental (Chicken) – It is one typical Thai dish but served in a big cup for that twist. The Thai green curry was mild and looked like a white curry. The intense flavors of galangal, basil leaves, kafir lime and lemon grass made my day for sure. The flavors were just perfect. It was served with steamed rice and together they tasted just great. Must Try!
b) Spaghetti Aglio Alio (Non-Veg) – Oh boy! I loved this one, maybe the most. I loved the spicy kick it provided. It was almost smeared with dry red chilli flakes and maybe a bit of chilli oil and was bursting with flavors in my mouth! I never had a better (and spicier) version of this dish before! 🙂 Loved it, and please try it.
a) Ice cream with chocolate sauce – This is the saddest part! They really don’t have any option in desserts, maybe they’ve got only two and when we were there they offered us vanilla ice cream scoop with chocolate sauce on it 😦 And it tasted just like vanilla ice cream scoop with chocolate sauce on it, like it’s available anywhere else in the city, sad!
a) IQ – It was served in a glass bulb! Yes you read it right 🙂 The red colored vodka based drink was bit bitter in the beginning for the mix of cranberry, watermelon, etc but had that lovely bend which just made it so good to taste in the end. Work of art in true sense! Most of the drinks available here can be shared by two or three, but IQ is for one, the bulb is all yours!
b) Bird cage – This one is the real work of art! The most innovative presentation and deserves some award for sure 🙂 It is available in 1000 ml bucket which is placed in a real arty bird cage; it can be shared by three for sure. It has got the kick from white rum mixed with orange liqueur, pineapple chunks, hazelnut, kiwi and pomegranate… it has got everything more or less, just that bird in the cage is missing maybe 🙂
c) Da Vinci Tini – Oh this is for the fine artists and painters around the world, this glass is your canvas and you can drink the paint and passion after you express them on your canvas! It has got separate containers with vodka espresso and baileys with choice of dark/white/caramel chocolate and then you have got your brush and big conical glass which is your canvas. Paint with the chocolate sauce in the canvas, then pour the drink in it and take a sip 🙂
d) Hoppi Bath Tub – It has got crushed ginger, basil, burnt orange, white rum and beer from the bottle which is just place upside down on the bath tub. The presentation is out of the box and the taste is amazing as well.
e) Drown in a Bucket – Oh this had the best kick I guess. It had some huge amount of tequila along with Peach, orange juice, rosemary, etc. Just awesome!
Also we were shown live demo for cocktail preparations. Hoppipola signature cocktails like Hoppi Bath Tub and Drown in a Bucket were prepared in front of us, infact I had participated in helping them out in the preparation of Hoppi Bath Tub 🙂 That was really fun-filled and informative.
SERVICE – – – – – The service as already said, was very warm and friendly. The servers were interactive and fun loving. I kept on asking the names of the dishes and every time they replied back with a smile.
As per the concept note provided to me I can say the prices are pretty comfortable and it is around INR 1200 plus taxes for two.
SUMMARY – – – – – Here are my granular ratings:
Food quantity: 4.5/5
Food quality: 4/5
Food presentation: 5/5
Value for money*: 4/5
* Value for money quotient was evaluated by checking out the price indication provided in our concept note, since our meal was complementary.
My overall rating comes close to 4.5 out of 5 which is just awesome I guess 🙂
CONCLUSION – I would like to thank Hoppipola management and Candid for this lovely invitation, we really had a great time. This is surely a place where you can just open up and be yourself every time you are here, there is something for everyone, for every type of individual, it’s scattered all over. I am glad that now Kolkata has got one Hoppipola.
No one will lent you a magnifying glass to search the lost innocence and child in you, but Hoppipola does, it surely puts the effort and you need to make use of the elements to pull that off. Oh I guess after all these discussions my drinks are now all over! So, this is the place fellas. This place will surely help you recollect how to again be hoppi…eek… billions of blistering barnacles… I meant ‘happy’! 🙂