Monsoon is in full swing at the moment in Mumbai. The moment you talk of Mumbai rains, the image of piping hot cutting chai with hot samosas, vada pavs and pakoras pop in your mind. The spiciness of these deep fried snacks with sweet chai in the rains, works like magic that many poets have coined verses on this theme.
Hoppipola has taken a cue from this wonderful monsoon combination and whipped up a special monsoon menu which tries to follow these footsteps and in some cases does a decent job of it.
We went to try out the monsoon menu at the Khar branch of this chain. The large glass window that separates the outdoor and indoor areas, gives the place a very expansive feel and in a way, this works well with the industrial décor. The overall vibe of the place is quite relaxed and we could see that the place was quite full despite it being a Tuesday.
To get our bearings, we first tried two of the dishes from their regular menu which I had tried during my review at their other branch. The Chiselled Prawns, which was one of the star dishes during my previous review, lived upto its fame and we were left craving for more this time as well. The Wasya Tokyo or their Batter Fried Prawns with Wasabi Sauce hadn’t really done that well previously but on this occasion, I found them to be light and crunchy with almost no oiliness.
To start off with our odyssey of the Monsoon Special menu, the first dish we tried was a Chilly Paneer (Cracka Chinese Rs. 190) which, despite of its potent ginger garlic and chilli sauce, failed to impress due to a very soft paneer coated in a dense batter. The Vodka based ginger and kafir lime cocktail which was served with it was surely a welcome respite.
The next dish called Aapdo Chorizo (Rs. 285) reclaimed the lost glory of the paneer. This was a great twist to the popular monsoon snack, mirchi pakora. Hoppipola´s twist is definitely a well prepared one where they have filled the Bhavnagari chillies with chorizos and prawns. The sweet and spicy chorizo marries well with the mild prawns resulting in a taste that makes you feel the heat but at the same time relish its sweetness to a great extent. This is surely a winner all the way.
Keemo Therapy (Rs. 270) which was brought in next, was however, a weaker dish where they serve the minced meat with fried pieces of bread (living up to the deep fried monsoon theme). This deep fried bread didn’t work for me, nor did the keema which I found to be very one-dimensional and cinamonny.
Though we were fairly full by this time, we still went ahead and tried the dish called Nuke a Zuke (Rs. 130) which claimed to be zucchini fried with burnt with burnt garlic and chilly masala. Though the batter fried zucchini slivers were quite banal by themselves, the burnt garlic and chillies brought the whole platter up by quite some notches.
Before I sign off, I must mention this drink that the restaurant served us for trials, which was an orange based cocktail served with an entire bottle of orange breezer popped in head down. My first reaction was – is it hygienic enough, but I dared to sip in and within a few sips, I already had a happy buzz. They are yet to name the drink, but I would highly recommend it next time you are headed that way.
With a few hits and a few misses, the Monsoon Menu at Hoppipola doesn’t completely impress. However with a regular menu which is quite decent, a drink menu which is quite expansive, prices which are extremely reasonable and a vibe which spells laid back fun, the place surely has the magic formula for you to spend a wonderful time with your group of friends on a cool rainy evening over some fun snacks and hours of interesting conversation. I can tell you this coz I did!
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3 | Ambience: 3.5 | Service: 3| Overall: 3
Meal for Two: Rs. 1800 | Credit Cards: Yes | Alcohol: Yes | Timings: 12.00 noon to 1.00 am | Wheelchair Access: No | Home Delivery: No
Address: 757, Ramee Guestline Hotel, MD Ali Quereshi Chowk, S.V. Road, Khar, Mumbai| Phone: 022-30151106
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.