After a really long time, I had a got a Saturday. I’d heard about this place from a few friends, I thought ‘why not catch up here next time instead of going to the same old boring places?’. That is how I landed up at Hoppipola to know how it feels to be Hoppi (read happy). If you plan to take a train, I’d suggest that you take an auto from Khar west because, the road that snakes up to this place is laced with piles of garbage dump on the sides. Located behind, Hotel Ramee guestline, had it not had the huge colorful door, this place would have surely gone unnoticed. The decor was nice and the use of colors I can say, even though I am not a subject matter expert, is something I adored completely.
We arrived by 1330 hours. I wasn’t surprised to see this place have substantial crowd by then. We chose to sit inside owing to the heat and I guess, any sane person would do that. The apparent USP of this place is that they have games and table tops that double up as a black board for when you’re almost bo(a)red. We sat on a table and the next thing I knew my side of the table top was full of drawings. I wasn’t even done yet so, after we got our table cleared, Bhavini and I had many such successive rounds of drawings while Hormaz sat staring at the both us gleefully doodling!
We needed a thrist quencher and, that’s when our drinks arrived. Two teetotalers and one who isn’t, the attendant had quite an amusing time guessing who ordered the apple martini from the three of us.
Being the type A control freak, when it comes to food (only because food is my favourite F-word) I’d known what exactly I wanted but as soon as saw the hot dog festival menu, (Martini and a hot dog doesn’t quite go well but I like both so what the hell!) I changed my mind. I started eyeing the menu for the most fattening and promising smoked hot dog.
We needed a quick fix of starters to eat with drinks and so we ordered the fish fingers and potato wedges. The poato wedges were served hot in a sauce pan with mayonnaise which I didn’t mind wolfing down. Fish fingers and Tartare sauce have been my idea of soul mates and why not? They taste great together and always accompany each other, which makes it one of my favourite snacks. The fish finger here, was surprisingly not as crispy as it should’ve been but it sure as hell was nice.
Another order was Her Majesty’s Favourite which was a simple chicken drumstick roasted and served with gravy and potato mash. Now, just like the hot dog this too, took about an hour to arrive. While I awaited my hot dog, I tasted a bit of this. The chicken was a tad over cooked and while I could ignore that, what literaly killed the excitement was the potato mash that was another, ready to make product. It tasted like those weird powdery grainy potato mashes made out of the potato mash mix, you get of super market shelves. This was the buzzkill.
I had a pork dog (my love for pork is obvious!) that promised to come with bacon letuce and tomato perhaps the American version of the classic Italian BLT sandwich. Apart from arriving an hour late, the sausage sanwiched inside the bun was mediocre. Bacon made it’s presence felt in barely half a strip, lettuce in just one leaf and a tiny slice of tomato honor the humble BLT. This, was way too disappointing for a pork lover.
Pasta came dressed in ‘white sauce’ whether it was Alfredo or Burro or even Hollandaise or Bernaise or what is still a mystery. It taste as though made form one of those instant pasta mixes with flavoured powder that becomes sauce once you add water to it and penne pasta was barely cooked.
The only thing I found solace in was the dessert, that worked wonders for my brutally wounded taste buds. We ordered a Melt in your mouth thingy that was basically a tiny cake with molten chocolate in it anda tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream. It had no taste of the Bailey’s Irish cream it promised but (apart from the fact that it came with a semi molten scoop of vanilla ice cream) it was decent.
I’ve heard that good things take time but, it is not the case here; specially when the attendants take about an hour to get you something as simple and uncomplicated as a glass of water.The food here was beyond what I could have imagined, but in an unpleasing way. This experience, was a total disappointment (apart form the decor).
I call myself a food affecionado rather than a critic because, I love food but this place I felt this pushed me to be critical.This place is no different than anyother place serving mediocre food, obviously apart form the decor and games part. I loved the part where we played Jenga and scribbled on our table tops but, I may as well call my friends over and play it. I guess, just like bad days and bad hair days, we have our fair share of ‘Bad food days’, I’m just glad that I have one less now!
Stay hungry. Stay inspired. Stay happy