Now there is one more reason to be happy, or rather ‘hoppi’ if you are at the Mani Square mall, even after watching a boring movie at the multiplex! I guess my hint was explicit enough to let you know what I am talking about. Yes, the fun joint called ‘Hoppipola’ has opened up its second outlet (after Acropolis Mall) at the Mani Square mall. If you have been to their first outlet in the city or at their outlets at the other cities spread across the country, then by now you already know what their signature dishes are or what their USP is. They definitely like to offer a ‘fun dining’ experience rather than a ‘fine dining’ experience and this very trait sets them apart and makes them the favorite hangout spot for many, especially the youngsters. This is one place where you can come and unwind through fun games, yummy food and innovative drinks! Couple of weeks back I was invited over to this vibrant new address to get a taste of their Food and beverage offerings, thanks to the management and ‘Quote.Unquote’ for this invite. But for me, generally it is pretty tough to pen down an experience which lacks contrast, so I was wondering for the last couple of days how to make this review worth reading since my words would sound monotonous after a while when I start discussing about the food or the beverages. So, was I totally pissed off or was I super satisfied? The first option doesn’t go too well with Hoppipola so you already got your hint I guess 🙂 Please read on to check out what the experience was really like and what is there in store which you really shouldn’t miss out.
This Icelandic named restaurant is under the umbrella of Speciality Restaurants Ltd (which boasts of other award winning brand restaurants like Mainland China, Oh Calcutta, Café Mezzuna, Sigree Global Grill, etc). Like already said, the Icelandic name of this chain of restaurants actually means ‘jumping in puddles’, and I was convinced that they really mean what they say after visiting their first outlet at the Acropolis Mall. There the outlet is well spaced out, pristine white, very bright and gets the natural diffused sunlight during the day and somehow that makes me happy. In comparison, I found the Mani Square outlet is not so ‘happy’ in terms of the ambiance. To get a similar experience I went there for the tasting session during the day, but I found the place has no opening which will allow natural (maybe diffused) sunlight to come in, as a result the pristine white feel was totally absent and it was somewhat gloomy, tad dull, quite close to other city pubs even during the day. The place is spaced out with high ceilings, no doubt about the classy interiors and all. Loved those painted window glasses, high chairs, games, peppy music, smiles on the faces of the servers and everything else. The biggest plus was surely the food and the beverages which had loads to offer and that impressed me a lot, and made me real ‘hoppi’ 🙂
So, quickly coming to the food and beverages, let us check out the ones which I had tasted and the ones which are definitely recommended. Let’s start with the beverages. We had ordered for –
Blood bank – I am starting off with the best drink. It is extremely innovatively presented and tastes just awesome. I love the essence of pomegranate in there. It’s not too high on spirits which is good for some poor souls 🙂 Anyway, it consists of Bacardi, Kafir Lime, Ginger, Cranberry juice, and Pomegranate juice.
Bird Cage – This one is the real work of art! As the name goes, it looks just like a bird cage and has got a whole lot of ingredients, only the bird is missing maybe, eh!! 🙂 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. Just a word of caution, this punch is too strong even for many superheroes!
Toddlers – This is a special addition to their menu and it looks like a feeding bottle of an infant, but has got all the ingredients which are suitable for that infant after 20 years maybe 🙂 It has got white rum, Malibu, Pineapple juice, and cream. This one is sinfully good. Absolutely must try!
Atlantis – This has a crystal clear presentation with elements from the deep sea all over! It has got the punch of Gordon Gin, fresh cucumber, and fresh thyme!
Pom & Pop – This is served with a handful of popcorns, and the glass of the beverage consists of white rum, pomegranate juice, pineapple chunks and tonic.
Oreoello – These were shots, but were not in liquid state! These were Oreo biscuits sandwiching a layer of condensed milk mixed with dark rum! Tasted great and can better be treated as a dessert maybe 🙂
Café Neto – This looked like simple small soft serve ice creams where the cone is actually stuffed with the surprise of raw vodka, nuetella and dash of coffee! It’s small in quantity but pretty intense!
Fruc-Tose – This is pretty innovative, but I didn’t like this product. It literally looked like sliced watermelons. The frozen stuff consisted of Bacardi, watermelon, and fresh fruits. It was too much of packed crushed ice all the way with very little flavor in there.
Long Island Ice Freeze – This is the classic old school drink where you get a punch of vodka, gin, white rum, tequila, triple sec, Gomme syrup, some lemon juice and splash of Cola! And here the presentation was fantastic, absolutely different from what you get at other joints. And yes, the stuff was well prepared as well.
Now, coming to the food we ordered for –
Chicken Trilogy – 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, it was too tight and stiff.
Spaghetti Aglio Alio (Non-Veg) – I loved this the most, this is a classy dish but Hoppipola really makes it well. I loved the spicy kick it provided with red dried chilli flakes. 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 you should try it. My version was loaded with shrimps and chicken.
Flaky Fried Prawns – This is one of the best non-veg starters. It is a bucket of spicy, seasoned deep fried prawns served with mayo! The prawns were nicely deep fried with a crispy golden coating and bouncy & fresh inside.
Hot Truffle Shrimps with Bao – This is one dish that can truly be termed as the ‘comfort food’. The shrimps are tossed with herbs and right proportion of dried red chilli flakes and the fresh shrimps tasted awesome in that broth which had quite a subtle flavor and lovely aroma, tasted great with the fresh Bao.
Kosha Mangsho Bao – This dish was literally ‘insanely good’. This is one dish I will order for every time I am there at Hoppipola, that’s for sure. I am sure they have added this specially in the Kolkata menu and it is surely one winner. The well cooked dried up spicy mutton gravy (Kolkata style) was impeccable in taste and aroma. And they tasted great with those fresh Baos. I am still drooling as I am penning this down 🙂
Cilantro Chicken with mash and paprika sauce – This was one of the mains which we had ordered for. The dish had sautéed veggies like broccoli, bell peppers and carrots. It had a portion of mashed potato which was not the best I had tried till date, the chicken could have been bit more bouncy and soft but anyway, overall the dish was decent enough.
Grilled fish with Gandhoraj lime reduction – This was one beautiful looking and tasting main course dish. It had decent amount of sautéed veggies, small portion of tossed herb rice with cloves and potato wedges. And yes, ofcourse there was two handsome pieces of grilled fish which was so very tasty and aromatic, the fish was very fresh and flaky! It was just so good, couldn’t get enough of it! 🙂
Phily Cheese Cake – You get only two options for dessert at this place and the other one was absent that day, so we had to settle for this cheese cake. And I am happy that we did so. This tasted absolutely heavenly. And the block of cheesecake was served with a generous topping of berry compote. The berry compote was again very flavorful and fresh and added the contrast to the cheesecake. Overall the dessert tasted fantastic!
The service was very warm and friendly. The servers were interactive and fun loving, specially loved interacting with Mithun. I kept on asking the names of the dishes and every time they replied back with a smile.
I would like to again thank Hoppipola management and ‘Quote.Unquote’ for this lovely invitation; I really had a great time there. 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 so glad that now Kolkata has got another Hoppipola outlet. No one will lent you a magnifying glass to search the lost innocence and child in you, but Hoppipola really does, it surely puts the effort and you need to make use of the elements to pull that off. I wish them all the best for the coming days and for their smooth operations in Kolkata.